Connect with us

Tech

ChargePoint gives Europe equal billing in electric car grid plan

Published

on

ChargePoint gives Europe equal billing in electric car grid plan

LISBON (Reuters) – ChargePoint, which operates one of the world’s largest charging station grids for electric vehicles, expects to split a major expansion plan equally between Europe and its home market the United States, its chief executive said.

Pasquale Romano, Chief Executive Officer of ChargePoint, attends an interview with Reuters during the Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

The company said in September it was aiming for 2.5 million charging points globally by 2025 and CEO Pasquale Romano told Reuters at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon that the increase was likely to be evenly split between Europe and the United States.

Europe is seen as potentially moving more quickly to electric vehicle adoption than the United States after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.

The 11-year-old firm, partly owned by German car makers BMW and Daimler, started selling in Europe in March and has reached around 1,000 points, out of a total of 60,000, which are mostly in the United States.

Growth in Europe will benefit from the phasing in of diesel car bans in parts of Europe in the 2020s, Romano said. As bans are phased in, diesel cars are likely to be swapped for electric vehicles, he said.

Norway, which is already a big market for electric cars and the single-biggest for Tesla cars, will ban all combustion-engine car sales from 2025. Big cities in Germany are planning diesel bans while Denmark and Britain plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the next two decades.

Silicon Valley-based ChargePoint supplies charging hardware and software. It has raised $125 million to expand in Europe, where it will compete against companies such as French utility Engie, Germany’s Innogy and E.ON, which are aiming at creating electric vehicle infrastructure.

ChargePoint does not own any re-charging stations but rather functions like an Airbnb or Uber to create a network of locations and schedule bookings at available charging points.

Romano would not put a figure on the company’s current sales but said “revenue growth is absolutely better than 50 percent year-over-year, we don’t see that slowing down at all.”

He said an initial public offering would be the “logical outcome” for the company but said there was no formal timeline for that.

Some auto industry experts have predicted that the world’s car fleet is set to start declining in coming decades because of congestion in many cities, prompting car sharing and greater use of public transport.

Romano said that did not worry him as ChargePoint was looking at markets for both individual car owners and fleets, such as bus companies in cities.

“As long as we are playing in both (markets), it doesn’t matter,” he said. “The funny thing is we are in a rising tide (of EV adoption) in a ultimately receding ocean (of car ownership),” he said.

Editing by Andrei Khalip. Editing by Jane Merriman

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Google Assistant Actions up 2.5x in 2018 to reach 4,253 in the US – TechCrunch

Published

on

By

Google Assistant Actions up 2.5x in 2018 to reach 4,253 in the US – TechCrunch

In addition to competing for smart speaker market share, Google and Amazon are also competing for developer mindshare in the voice app ecosystem. On this front, Amazon has soared ahead — the number of available voice skills for Alexa devices has grown to top 80,000 the company recently announced. According to a new third-party analysis from Voicebot, Google is trailing that by a wide margin with its own voice apps, called Google Assistant Actions, which total 4,253 in the U.S. as of January 2019.

For comparison, 56,750 of Amazon Alexa’s total 80,000 skills are offered in the U.S.

The report notes that the number of Google Assistant Actions have grown 2.5 times over the past year — which is slightly faster growth than seen on Amazon Alexa, whose skill count grew 2.2 times during the same period. But the total is a much smaller number, so growth percentages may not be as relevant here.

In January 2018, there were 1,719 total Google Assistant Actions in the U.S., the report said. In 2017, the number was in the low hundreds in the beginning of the year, and reached 724 by October 2017.

Voicebot also examined which categories of voice apps were popular on Google Assistant platforms.

It found that three of the 18 categories accounted for more than one-third of all Google Assistant Actions: Education & Reference; Games & Fun; and Kids & Family.

The Education category topped the list with more than 15 percent of all Actions, while Games & Fun was 11.07 percent and Kids & Family was 9.29 percent.

Local and Weather were the least popular.

On Alexa, the top categories differ slightly. Though Games & Fun is popular on Google, its Alexa equivalent — Games & Trivia — is the No. 1 most popular category, accounting for 21 percent of all skills. Education was second most popular at around 14 percent.

It’s interesting that these two top drivers for voice apps are reversed on the two platforms.

That could indicate that Alexa is seen to be the more “fun” platform, or one that’s more oriented toward use by families and gaming. Amazon certainly became aware of the trend toward voice gaming, and fanned the flames by making games the first category it paid developers to work on by way of direct payments. That likely encouraged more developers to enter the space, and subsequently helped boost the number of games — and types of gaming experiences — available for Alexa.

Voicebot’s report rightly raises the question as to whether or not the raw skill count even matters, though.

After all, many of the Alexa skills offered today are of low quality, or more experimental attempts from developers testing out the platform. Others are just fairly basic — the voice app equivalent of third-party flashlight apps for iPhone before Apple built that feature into iOS. For example, there now are a handful of skills that turn on the light on Echo speakers so you can have a nightlight by way of the speaker’s blue ring.

But even if these early efforts sometimes fall short, it does matter that Alexa is the platform developers are thinking about, as it’s an indication of platform commitment and an investment on developers’ part. Google, on the other hand, is powering a lot of its Assistant’s capabilities itself, leaning heavily on its Knowledge Base to answer users’ questions, while also leveraging its ability to integrate with Google’s larger suite of apps and services, as well as its other platforms, like Android.

In time, Google Assistant may challenge Alexa further by capitalizing on geographic expansions, but for the time being, Alexa is ahead on smart speakers as well as, it now seems, on content.

Continue Reading

Tech

Amazon’s Echo Wall Clock is back on sale after connectivity fix

Published

on

By

The Echo Wall Clock was first announced by Amazon in September and started shipping just before the holidays in December. Just over a month after the clock was first made available to buy, Amazon decided to pull it because of problems with Bluetooth connectivity. That feature is essential to the device’s function, as it needs to connect to another Echo device in order to operate with voice controls. With the fix, users will once again be able to set alarms and timers via Alexa that will be displayed on the 60 LED lights around the edge of the clock’s face.

Continue Reading

Tech

Audi helps you avoid red lights by suggesting speeds

Published

on

By

Speed suggestions and TLI are available as part of an Audi Connect Prime feature on 2017 and newer models outside of the A3 and TT. You’re still limited to using them in certain areas, however. TLI is currently available in 13 urban regions, including Dallas, Denver, Gainesville, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York (White Plains), Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area (Palo Alto and Walnut Creek) and Washington, DC.

The technology could become more useful in the future, though. Future TLI upgrades might use a car’s automatic stop/start system to restart the engine when a red light is turning green, and a navigation tie-in could plan routes that minimize stops. Think of this as another small step toward autonomous cars. You might still have to take the wheel, but computers are minimizing many of the little annoyances.

Continue Reading

Categories

Recent Posts

Like Us On Facebook

Trending