Fiat Chrysler is muscling into the growing electric vehicle (EV) market with charging and other emobility solutions.
In a memorandum of understanding with the UK energy software developer Kaluza, the companies intend to explore how to deliver cheaper and simpler EV charging services to Fiat Chrysler customers through the company’s cloud platform.
During the first phase, the companies will develop a smart charging service for Fiat 500 EV customers using the Kaluza platform. The direct-to-car technology will leverage live data from local grid operators to shift car charging to times when carbon intensity is lowest and energy is cheapest, without the need for a separate smart charge point.
At scale, this would enable drivers to benefit from reduced bills, lower carbon emissions and a seamless in-app charging experience oriented around their individual needs, according to a statement.
“The agreement with Kaluza to explore smart charging technologies represents an excellent opportunity to reduce vehicles’ charging costs and subsequently the total cost of ownership,” says Roberto Di Stefano, head of e-Mobility for the EMEA Region at FCA.
“Furthermore, this innovation will allow our Fiat 500 EV customers to experience the benefits without the need to install specific charging equipment.”
A select group of Fiat 500 EV customers in the UK will be invited to trial the smart charging service during the first half of 2021.
Kaluza is among the leaders in smart charging and vehicle-to-grid in the UK, with thousands of EVs managed on its AI platform. In partnership with Bosch a demonstration was completed recently on how smart charging can support the grid.
Fiat Chrysler is planning with Engie to join forces in an Italy-based joint venture technology company offering innovative solutions and services to enhance access to emobility.
The JV aims to draw on Fiat Chrysler’s financial resources and industrial footprint and on Engie’s technological know-how and intellectual property portfolio, to offer a full suite of products and solutions for EV customers. These will include residential, business and public charging infrastructures, as well as green energy packages enabling customers to charge at home and at any public charging point across Europe with a fixed monthly rate subscription.
The JV is expected to lead to the emergence of a consolidated automotive industrial footprint and would represent an important strategic step in the evolution of the two groups’ product portfolios and the elimination of barriers to the emobility transition in Europe, according to a statement.
Earlier cooperation between the two companies has led to the introduction of an exclusive FCA easyWallbox, an easy-to-use plug-and-play charging unit, and the recently launched large V2G pilot project.
“Italy left a profound mark on history with its excellence in the automotive industry and in the development of innovative technologies in the energy sector,” says Carlalberto Guglielminotti, chief executive officer and general manager ENGIE EPS.
“This JV is the opportunity to consolidate this heritage whilst shaping the road ahead for a greener mobility.”
The new company is expected to be incorporated in Q1 of 2021.