In mid-June 2022, the European Union enacted a ban on the sale of new vehicles powered by fossil fuels from 2035 onwards in its territory. An announcement that will continue to drive electric vehicle sales – already up 46% in 2021 compared to 2020 according to the CCFA – for years to come. As long as the charging infrastructure – already insufficient – develops. The global market for charging services is expected to grow about 35% per year through 2030, reaching $12 billion according to Oliver Wyman.
It is in this flourishing market that Aurélien Meaux launched himself – after Cheerz – with Electra. Their credo: install and operate ultra-fast charging stations (20-30 minutes) in major cities, compatible with all vehicles and bookable via an app and a web app.
building the foundations
Thanks to its last €15 million fundraiser, held just a year ago, the company worked on three of three main projects:
- Safe sites to install charging stations. She managed to acquire 300;
- Develop your product by improving and simplifying the customer experience. ” We we have developed an application and a web application that allow you to reserve your terminal remotely, monitor the load and even paydevelops Aurelien de Meaux. We have developed a supervisory software block, which is the backbone of the charging station management system » ;
- Build your first charging stations which currently offer 50 charging points. A number that is expected to rise to 300 by the end of the year.
“Our idea is to build an offer that is really exciting for the driver, so that he wants to drive an electric car” highlights Aurélien de Meaux, convinced that the transition will involve creating a desire and not just regulations.
Electra’s land partners are candidates. As a reminder, the startup installs these products in private parking lots open to the public (hotel, supermarket). ” NoLand partners are subject to the LOM law which obliges them to dedicate 5% of their parking spaces to charging electric vehicles” , recalls the businessman. With its solution, Electra allows you to kill two birds with one stone. “They benefit from income from renting land and offer an additional service to their customers. » Result: the startup is now installing one station a week, two starting in September.
a complicated context
If 2021 passed under the best possible auspices, the European geopolitical chessboard shifted and energy prices soared. Nothing that worries the entrepreneur too much. ” NOWe have entered into an electricity contract with our partner for the entire year 2022 so that our prices remain stable. We will have to renegotiate in 2023 and we will see at that moment if a small increase should be made. But our ambition remains to offer a competitive price to encourage drivers to use electricity. »
With regard to the construction of its terminals, here again Electra also anticipated difficulties. “Previously, it took 4 months to have a terminal, now it takes 8he recognizes. We placed a large order last year and another at the beginning of the year. At this stage, it does not harm us. »
Over the last year, Electra has laid the foundations and foundations of its project, but much remains to be done. To establish itself as a major player, it intends to redouble its efforts without, however, falling into the trap of hyper-growth at the expense of quality.
Mesh the territory of the terminals
Just one year after a first round of financing of 15 million euros, Electra announces a capital increase of 160 million euros carried out with Eurazeo, which leads this round, RGREEN Invest, RIVE Private Investment, Serena, the Chopard Group, the SNCF group and the RATP group. Its ambition is clear: to become a champion in its sector. And to get there, you must accelerate. Its resources will allow it to continue the deployment of its terminals – a target of 8,000 operational charging points was announced for 2030. To meet all needs, Electra has already extended its charging range by integrating longer charging solutions, with charging stations for 22kWh to over 300kWh.
The quality of customer service and the interface will also continue to evolve. ” A car is connected, our terminals are connected, there are a whole host of services to imagine.” , says Aurelien de Meaux. At the same time, Electra began its internationalization process with the opening of an office in Brussels (Belgium). Why this geographic choice? ” We We were looking for a country where interest in electric cars is growing, but where the infrastructure is still insufficient” and the Belgian capital fulfilled its conditions in relation to other more advanced countries. While the CEO admits to considering an upcoming opening in another European country, he is tempering his desire to expand. ” NOWe are not going to open 15 countries at the same time, we are going to do things little by little. » And to help him carry out his projects, the entrepreneur counts on the support of his carefully chosen investors.
” NOWe have two types of funds that invested in this round: infrastructure funds and corporate funds. The first ones like Eurazeo know how to invest for the long term, Rgreen Invest and Rive Private Phave skills in the areas of energy » that will be very useful to him. As for the SNCF group and RATP, they are transport specialists with whom Electra is clearly considering synergies to develop multimodal offers in cities.