TOTAL Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, Germany, has acquired the business activities in the field of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles from the Munich-based company Digital Energy Solutions (DES) from the Viessmann Group with effect from 1 November, Electrive.com reports. Total is thus taking over around 1,400 charging stations with over 2,000 charging points at B2B locations.
Digital Energy Solutions (DES) was founded in 2015 by BMW and Viessmann, whereby both companies each held 50 per cent of the joint venture. However, in February 2020, the car manufacturer had transferred its shares to the partner, making Viessmann the sole owner. “With the complete takeover of the shares in the company, Viessmann is reaffirming its high relevance and commitment to the development of integrated power-based energy solutions and will continue to pursue the path we have embarked on together with the experts from Digital Energy Solutions in the future,” it was said at the time.
Now, however, the complete exit of the remaining founder is taking place, because on 1 November, the oil company Total SE, Paris, France, (or its German subsidiary Total Deutschland GmbH) took over the more than 2,000 charging points from DES. The DES employees are also transferring to Total and are to further expand the business activities. Both companies insist that no changes are to result for existing customers and contract partners “due to the seamless takeover”.
Digital Energy Solutions offers charging solutions, but also products for the energy market, such as battery storage systems, heat pumps for houses and photovoltaic systems. Electromobility was therefore only one part of the business model, with cross-sector energy management accounting for the lion’s share.
One of the reasons for the takeover is the changed structures resulting from the new form of energy supply for electromobility. Only a small proportion of the charging processes will take place at filling stations – for example in the form of high power charging – and the majority of the charging processes will be shifted to business, private and public areas in particular. In February – exactly the same day that BMW’s withdrawal from DES became known – Total announced that it would install 200 quick charge points at its filling stations in Germany. With the acquisition of Digital Energy Solutions, the petroleum company now wants to enter the loading business outside of gas stations.
“The acquisition of the Charging Solutions business unit is an important strategic decision for us to strengthen electromobility and is part of the Total Group’s climate policy,” says Christian Cabrol, Managing Director of Total Germany. “With the takeover, we are strengthening the topic of electromobility outside of the filling station infrastructure and are demonstrating that we take the challenges of the energy turnaround seriously and are aiming for strong growth in this segment in the coming years, initially with a focus on the B2B area”.
In terms of their climate policy, Germany is of course not the only area where the oil company has been active. In the UK, Total has already acquired the city’s oldest charging grid Source London. This was done through the acquisition of another French company; Bolloré’s Blue Point London.