France’s EDF aims to be market leader in electric vehicle charging

PARIS (Reuters) – French state-controlled utility EDF outlined plans to become a European market leader in the field of charging up electric vehicles – a potentially lucrative sector that is already proving to be a crowded market.

The logo of Electricite de France SA (EDF) is pictured on the facade of a building in Paris, France, August 5, 2018. Picture taken August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy said EDF was targeting a 30 percent market share in electric vehicle charging in its main markets of France, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.

“We want to become the uncontested leader in electric mobility in Europe by 2022,” Levy told reporters.

French state-controlled utility EDF Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy attends an event entitled Electric Days in Paris, France, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

EDF estimates that in its four core markets, electric vehicles (EV) will make up 30 percent of all new cars sold by 2030, or at the latest by 2035.

The company aims to operate 75,000 EV charging stations in Europe by 2022.

EDF is entering a crowded field in which power utilities, tech start-ups and oil majors are fighting to establish themselves as the dominant players in a fast-growing business.

EDF’s competitors, such as Engie and several German and Scandinavian utilities, have already moved into the electric vehicle market well before the French group.

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The electric vehicle plan is the third major renewable energy investment project made by Levy, after a 25 billion euro ($28.7 billion) push into solar announced in December 2017 and an eight billion euro investment in power storage in March.

EDF gave no indication of how much it planned to invest in its electric vehicles charging initiative.

($1 = 0.8701 euros)

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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