ABB buys controlling stake in Indian EV-charging company

02 June 2022

electric vehicles

Swedish-Swiss tech company ABB’s e-mobility unit has acquired a controlling stake in Numocity, an Indian digital platform for electric-vehicle (EV) charging. The company is already a shareholder in the business, and will increase to a controlling majority of 72%, having the right to become the sole owner by 2026.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ABB first made a 7% investment in Numocity as part of seed-stage venture-capital funding three years ago. With the acquisition, Numocity’s current investors, Ideaspring Capital and Rebright, will exit the company.

The deal will give ABB greater exposure to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The region has seen growing demand for charging solutions for EVs, as well as two and three-wheelers.

EV-charging infrastructure

ABB is known for its EV-charging solutions, having sold more than 680,000 EV chargers across 85 markets. The company operates 30,000 DC fast chargers and 650,000 AC chargers, including ones sold through Chargedot, a Chinese company ABB acquired in 2020.

Last year, ABB announced plans to float its e-mobility charging business. The spin-off could help ABB take advantage of the growing demand for EVs, especially in India, where the EV sector is poised to grow.

‘We are delighted to expand our presence in the burgeoning Indian market, while also enlarging our offering in EV-charging infrastructure,’ said Frank Muehlon, CEO of ABB E-mobility. ‘Zero-emission mobility will play a key role in the Indian government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, while the wider region is a hotbed of digital expertise.’

Numocity has become one of India’s market leaders in the EV-charging sector. It offers a cloud-based digital platform, which allows users a network of fixed chargers or battery-swapping solutions on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. The platform also monitors energy use on the electricity grid.

‘Our dedicated team is proud to be expanding its cooperation with ABB to offer secure, stable and seamless digital platforms for the monetisation and management of EV energy infrastructure,’ said Ravikiran Annaswamy, CEO of Numocity.

The Indian EV market

The government of India has launched several initiatives to promote the production and adoption of electric vehicles in the country. A focus has been on the expansion of the local charging infrastructure, with big cities leading the way.

India has around 1,640 public EV chargers, most of which can be found in nine urban areas, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. India’s Ministry of Power recently amended its EV-charging infrastructure guidelines, aimed at providing a framework for private and public EV charging.

Several companies have announced plans to set up 22,000 EV charging stations in large cities and on national highways across the country. Services such as battery swapping could add to further growth in the EV market.

Indian carmaker Tata Motors, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, is a dominant force in the local EV market. The manufacturer is looking to potentially buy a Ford Motor manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Gujarat as it continues to push for the production of electric vehicles.