The Volkswagen Group is establishing a group company for energy offerings and charging solutions, according to an official release. Elli Group GmbH, with headquarters in Berlin, is to develop products and services connected with energy and charging for the brands of the Group, “underlining its strategic goal of becoming a leading provider of sustainable mobility”.
Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen brand Board Member responsible for E-Mobility said: “As one of the world’s largest automakers, Volkswagen is going to force the pace of the urgently needed transport and energy transition to emission-neutral e-mobility. The new company will play its part with energy offerings from renewable sources and smart charging solutions. This way, we are entering a strategically relevant, extremely exciting business area that offers considerable opportunities for strengthening ties with existing customers as well as accessing entirely new customer groups.”
Thorsten Nicklaß, designated CEO of Elli, announced that the new Volkswagen Group company would also offer to customers outside the Group green power from renewable sources that was 100 percent CO2-neutral. Nicklaß, formerly CEO of the Digital Energy Solutions joint venture, said: “Our mission is to take e-mobility out of its niche and to place it firmly in the mainstream. The name “Elli” stands for “electric life”, because we intend to enable a lifestyle that fully integrates the electric car in people’s everyday lives. This approach could be compared with the use of a mobile phone, which is taken for granted nowadays.”
The company will gradually be building up a portfolio of intelligent power tariffs, Wallboxes and charging stations as well as an IT-based energy management system. Nicklaß explained: “We will be creating a seamless, sustainable ecosystem that addresses the main applications and provides answers to all the energy questions raised by electric car users and fleet operators.”
Up to the market launch of the Volkswagen ID., the first model based on the modular electric toolkit (MEB) in 2020, the company will successively roll out a large number of solutions that private and commercial e-mobility customers need now and in the future – ranging from hardware to charging, additional digital services and complete advice packages.
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A brief overview of the business areas in which Elli is active:
@home – charging at home: green power
In future, customers will not only meet Volkswagen in dealerships and in their vehicles but also in their homes, where half of all electric car owners charge their vehicles. The services available will include green power for private households with and without an electric vehicle. Details of the first tariff models will be announced by the Group in the near future. The power offered will be Volkswagen Naturstrom® generated in a CO2-free way. 100% of this power comes from renewable sources such as hydropower plants and its origin has been certified by TÜV.
@home – charging at home: Wallbox
Customers will be able to choose between a variety of Wallbox variants for safe, rapid and convenient charging at home. The low-cost 11 kW AC Wallbox is suitable for overnight charging, a procedure that protects the battery. Full charging will take between five and eight hours. The comfort version also operates with 11 kW but also offers connectivity via attractive payment arrangements and update options.
@home – charging at home: Smart energy management and photovoltaics
A high-end DC charging station with 22 kW can make the electric car an energy storage system and part of the smart grid of the future thanks to bidirectional charging and connection to an energy management system. It will be possible to store power generated by customers’ photovoltaic systems in the car and to use it later in the household – or to feed it to the power grid in order to earn revenue. Of course, stationary battery storage will also play a key role in this context in the future. An energy management system will then decide in accordance with instructions received from the owner which type of energy is to be used when, at what price and for what purpose. As not all electric cars will be charged at the same time, the burden on the power grid will be reduced at the same time as optimizing energy costs for household use and mobility.
@destination – charging at the destination: employee parking spaces and Volkswagen partners
With Elli, Volkswagen will also be intensively involved in charging at destinations such as company car parks and dealerships. Initially, this will include the expansion of charging stations at Volkswagen’s own employee car parks from 1,000 today to more than 5,000 by 2020 and the equipment of all 4,000 dealers and service partners in the EU with several charging possibilities, also by 2020.
@destination – charging at the destination: fleet customers and chain outlets
In fleet business, Elli will provide support to the Group brands in connection with the changeover of their customers’ fleets to e-mobility. Companies without a car fleet will also be able to access , advice on the topics of energy and charging infrastructure, especially with respect to installation, operation and maintenance. Elli is in discussions concerning cooperation for the installation of charging stations at customer car parks of major chains.
Charging on the road
Finally, as a mobile service provider, Elli will also make charging in public spaces a thoroughly positive experience thanks to convenient digital payment using a charging card with tailor-made tariffs.