The rich galaxy of French electric charging startups

Posted on September 22, 2022, 8:34 am

As EV sales take off, French startups specializing in charging are sprouting like mushrooms and getting more and more funding. However, not everyone has the same business model or the same technologies. Detailed review of the main players in the market.

Electra, the king of ultra-fast charging

Electra specializes in ultra-fast charging. The company founded by Aurélien de Meaux (co-founder of Cheerz) raised €15 million in seeds in 2021, then €160 million a year later. It prioritizes dense areas and aims to offer a high-end experience with an application that, for example, allows estimating the price and loading time. In addition to France, the company launched in Belgium and plans to arrive soon in Italy.

Bump, the refill for professionals

Bump is one of the latest in the charging industry. Founded by François Paradis and François Oudot, this young studio started by offering a charging solution for professionals (car sharing, logistics, etc.).

It then diversified and installed charging points on landowners. Bump has just raised 60 million euros from DIF Capital Partners – an amount that could reach 180 million in total if it achieves certain goals,

ZePlug, the condominium expert

ZePlug was founded in 2014 by former G7 taxis. The start-up chose to install, at its own expense, a charging infrastructure in the condominiums. The goal: to remove one of the main barriers to buying an electric car. This start-up has just raised 240 million euros from ICG and acquired Bornes Solutions, another French player in the sector. ZePlug was launched in the United States and intends to accelerate there in the coming months.

E-stations, charging in rural areas

Founded in 2018 by Alain Rolland, Stations-e is an operator that installs, operates and manages the maintenance of charging stations, particularly in peri-urban areas where car dependence is strong. In 2021, the start-up raised 30 million euros. Its stations have the particularity of being able to additionally host a kiosk designed to develop other services, such as 4G/5G high-speed Internet, terminals for other shared vehicles (bicycles, scooters, car sharing, etc.) or connected lockers.

Yespark, car park charging

Originally, Yespark is a company that simplifies long-term parking rentals. It stood out in this market by reaching 17.5 million euros in turnover in 2021.

To respond to the needs of motorists, the start-up raised €28 million this year to create 30,000 seats equipped with a charging station. This is the first round of funding since its founding in 2014.

Mob Energy, the charging robot

The technology developed by Mob Energy is atypical. This young shooter created a mobile charging robot called “Charles” capable of charging in parking lots. It works with second-life batteries that make it possible to store several doses of energy for one, two or three vehicles in each intervention. The Lyon-based start-up raised €2.1 million in 2020.

WattPark, the “Charging Airbnb”

This little charging thumb offers a platform that connects terminal owners and electric vehicle drivers. Wattpark also sells and installs charging stations for individuals or professionals. The company raised €1.5 million in 2021.

NW Groupe, from energy storage to charging

NW Groupe is an atypical player in the charging market. The company founded by Jean-Christophe Kerdelhué is first and foremost an energy group whose business is to provide storage capacities distributed throughout the territory. Since 2010, it has installed 275 J Box stations with a total capacity of 344 MW. The company raised €300 million in 2022 and claims unicorn status.

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