ChargePoint announced Thursday the purchase of fleet management software provider Kisensum for an undisclosed sum, adding a new service to the EV charging company’s portfolio.
The purchase is part of an aggressive growth push, the largest in the company’s decade of existence, according to Chief Strategy Officer Simon Lonsdale.
“What we’re announcing with our acquisition of Kisensum is the next generation of electrification,” said Lonsdale. “The Kisensum offering allows us to provide much more intelligence, smarter charging, grid edge connections and fleet scheduling connection.”
Lonsdale offered electric bus fleets — the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is already a Kisensum customer — as an example of the utility of Kisensum’s cloud service technology when integrated with ChargePoint’s charger network. By offering smart charging and analyzing a bus’ route and schedule, the chargers can “deliver all of that energy into that fleet of buses at the right time, at the best price," Lonsdale said.
Electrification advocates have targeted buses for scaling EV technology because of their fixed routes and ability to charge nightly at a designated location.
Eventually Lonsdale said the platform could be rolled out from buses to taxis, company car fleets, and a future filled with autonomous vehicles to optimize the management of all types of vehicles and the electricity that powers them.
Oakland, California-based Kisensum is the second purchase from ChargePoint, which took ownership of just under 10,000 General Electric charging stations last year. ChargePoint's network includes 51,000 charging stations and 790 fast-charging spots. Since its founding, the company has received millions in funding from companies including Siemens, Daimler and BMW's venture fund i Ventures.
The announcement from ChargePoint comes close behind news that BP purchased U.K.-based charging company Chargemaster. Lonsdale said that acquisition signals that large companies are beginning to comprehend the seriousness of the changes bearing down on the energy industry and transportation.
“ChargePoint has been around for over 10 years, and in that time we helped the world see that there are different business models for consumers charging their electric cars,” Lonsdale said. “I would say that BP is now just catching up 10 years later with the realization that electric vehicles are coming.”
As interest in EVs has grown, ChargePoint has advocated for consumer choice in charging and collaborated with utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric to engineer utility-sponsored charging programs. Though ChargePoint has been working on EV charging for over a decade, Lonsdale said buy-in from large companies like BP further indicates that “electrification is the future.” He said the traditional players that are quickest to embrace change will determine who wins in the new landscape.
“It’s going to boil down to a fight between the utilities and the oil and gas companies as to who steals market share from the other one,” he said. “The world is starting to see how this all weaves together over the next couple of decades.”