When AG became a shareholder of the scale up company Optimile two years ago, alongside partners BNP Paribas Fortis and Touring, it did so seeing the long-term potential in multimodal mobility services. 2021 saw a further investment of EUR 8 million by the partners to support Optimile’s development into the segment of ‘charging-as-a-service’ (CAAS).
With the number of electric vehicles increasing particularly in the commercial sector, so too the growing need for car charging stations became a reality in Belgium. Loosely translated this means that if the country’s goal of a 100% electric commercial vehicle fleet by 2026 is to be achieved, more than 100,000 new publicly accessible charging stations will be needed.
Optimile’s cloud-based platform allows companies to easily integrate electric vehicle charging into global mobility offerings to their customers and employees. The charging card and accompanying smartphone app Mobiflow provides instant access to one of the largest networks of public charging stations in Europe with over 135,000 locations in 19 countries. The service allows fleet managers to easily manage electric car charging expenses and it provides a care-free solution for the driver. The app also indicates where there are charging stations in the neighbourhood, how much a charge costs and how long it will take.
This ecosystem was further developed in 2021 through a new partnership with AG’s daughter company Homeras. Their home repair provider SoSimply installs loading stations’ hardware at the office or at home, improving the driver’s access to charging facilities.
With many customers concerned about the fire risks of an electric vehicle and a home charging station, AG has also clarified its home and car insurance policies to guarantee optimal protection. And the road assistance teams can quickly intervene in case of, for example, a flat battery.
AG’s own employees can already start benefitting from the CAAS offering and brokers are showing a major interest in installing the infrastructure for their clients and staff. The main aim will be to open up this offering to a large B2B SME, retail and self-employed target market to create a one stop solution for the customer, offering leasing, CAAS solution and insurance all in one. The ultimate aim is to make the transition to an electric vehicle as easy as possible and with peace of mind.