Like patrons at the end of a long night, automakers and charging companies can sometimes be seen leaving the bar arm in arm. Coda with Mr. Electric. Holden with Better Place. Nissan with GE. Smart USA with Coulomb. Toyota with Leviton. BMW with AeroVironment.

But this is a vibrant scene, and while there may be "preferred" partnerships, nothing exclusive is going on. That's why you also see Leviton with Honda and, now, that BMW is making moves on Coulomb Technologies.

Today, BMW i Ventures announced it will make a "strategic investment" in Coulomb Technologies. The investment (amount not disclosed) will support "the development of infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles." That's vague enough, isn't it? More details will undoubtedly be forthcoming, but for now, the door has closed behind the two parties, and we're left outside imagining what's going on inside.

In other Coulomb Technologies news, the company announced at Plug-In 2012 that the fourth version of the ChargePoint network interface would be coming in September. The new version will offer "intuitive dashboards, enhanced administrative and billing features" as well as ChargePoint Connections, which will let station owners send plug-in vehicle drivers "special offers, messages and discounts via email, text message or mobile alerts." Details available in the press release below.
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BMW i Ventures Announces Strategic Investment in Coulomb Technologies

New York, NY – July 24, 2012... BMW i Ventures today announced that it is making a strategic investment in Coulomb Technologies. Coulomb's ChargePoint is the largest online global charging network, connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. The investment by BMW supports the development of infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles. ChargePoint provides the most feature-rich solution for station owners and EV drivers alike, with innovations in software services from mobile applications to vehicle telematics. ChargePoint's charging solutions provide station owners the tools they need to help better manage their charging services, including the ability to locate and reserve stations, set pricing, process payments, track station utilization and energy costs and provide driver support.

"We are delighted to have one of the world's premier automakers join our investor team," said Pat Romano, president and CEO of Coulomb Technologies. "We look forward to working with BMW to expand our global footprint and help support the adoption of electric vehicles worldwide."

"BMW i Ventures recognizes the importance of a global charging network for electric vehicle drivers," said Dr. Ulrich Quay, Managing Director of BMW i Ventures. "BMW is focused on providing comprehensive services that make the charging of BMW electric vehicles a premium experience. ChargePoint is the largest, longest established network with a significantly advanced and mature feature set. This investment will forge a close and strategic relationship as we further our electric mobility offer."

About ChargePoint
ChargePoint is the largest online global charging network connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. ChargePoint offers service plans of cloud-based solutions that handle all driver billing and support. This provides organizations the control and flexibility they need to optimize performance of their electric vehicle charging operations. Open to all charging station manufacturers, stations on ChargePoint are currently dispensing over 577 Megawatt hours of energy each month, with drivers plugging in for more than 3,300 charging sessions per day. For more information: visit www.chargepoint.com. Follow us on Twitter @chargepointnet. Like us on Facebook @ChargePoint.

ChargePoint. Access anywhere. Go everywhere.

About BMW i Ventures
BMW i Ventures is BMW Group's Venture Capital unit and is based in New York City. BMW i Ventures invests in early and mid-stage high-potential companies in the area of Mobility Services. These are services that make mobility smarter, more efficient and more flexible. The company aims for strategic, long-term partnerships in particular in the areas of e-mobility, navigation, parking, car sharing and intermodal mobility solutions.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com


Celebrating Four-Year Anniversary, ChargePoint Announces 4.0, Groundbreaking Electric Vehicle Charging Platform and Intelligent Network

Streamlined, Updated look for Drivers and Stations Owners; New Features Include ChargePoint Connections, Intuitive Dashboards, Enhanced Administrative and Billing Features

San Antonio, Texas July 23, 2012 – Coulomb Technologies today announced the release of their ChargePoint 4.0 platform for electric vehicle drivers and charging station owners. With a new streamlined and updated look, ChargePoint 4.0 provides sophisticated features including: patent-pending ChargePoint Connections, intuitive dashboards, support for multi-site deployments, and the ability to create new pricing structures for charging services. Celebrating the 4-year anniversary of the launch of ChargePoint, ChargePoint 4.0 is being showcased at the Plug-In 2012 show in San Antonio, Texas July 23 – 25, 2012 in the Coulomb booth number 215.

"The introduction of ChargePoint 4.0 marks a major milestone for ChargePoint," said Pat Romano, president and CEO of Coulomb Technologies. "ChargePoint 4.0 is the ideal charging solution for employers, retailers, hotels, municipalities, parking services, multiple dwelling units, fleets, and utility companies looking for ways to increase traffic flow to their businesses, provide new value to employees, and differentiate themselves from competitors. For electric vehicle drivers, ChargePoint 4.0 is the easiest, most convenient way to charge your EV, with thousands of public charging stations, intuitive driver dashboards, convenient ways to pay for charging, 24x7 driver support and valuable driver services."

New features include:
  • New ChargePoint enhanced user interface design and website: The launch of ChargePoint 4.0 includes a newly designed look and feel, revised online dashboards and a new corporate logo and design elements. Station owners now have an easy to use online solution that provides access to all station data and metrics through an easy to use dashboard. Drivers and station owners can easily view personal, organization and network-wide statistics, as well as recent usage, real-time availability of stations and real-time charging data for public or home chargers.
  • ChargePoint Connections lets station owners build a relationship with drivers who use their stations. For example, retailers, hotels, restaurants and parking garage operators can use ChargePoint Connections as a way to attract and retain new customers. This mechanism will enable sending special offers, messages and discounts via email, text message or mobile alerts. For workplace charging, ChargePoint Connections vastly simplifies the process of initially giving employees access to corporate owned stations and more importantly makes on-going administration of that access control quick and easy.
  • Multi-site deployment support allows corporations to view and manage their charging stations world-wide from a single location and login. At the same time, those corporations can grant selectable levels of control over any group of their stations to local installation, support and management teams. The combination of these capabilities lets large corporations scale their charging infrastructure with ease.
  • New pricing structures expand upon ChargePoint's industry-leading Flex Billing with several new features, including the ability to combine per-hour and per-kWh fees, and the ability to charge by plug-in time or actual charging time. Station owners can specify preferred pricing groups, each with different pricing rules.
  • Simplified workflows and administration: ChargePoint 4.0 optimizes the workflow of managing charging stations, allowing you to operate more efficiently, with less effort, while maintaining tight control over who sees what, and who can perform what tasks.
  • Advanced Analytics: ChargePoint 4.0's integrated analytics engine provides sophisticated metrics around station occupancy and energy consumption, including peak power usage statistics, GhG emissions, station revenue and other valuable data.

Pricing and availability: ChargePoint 4.0 is a free upgrade for all ChargePoint account holders and will go live for all station owners and drivers in September, 2012.

About ChargePoint
ChargePoint is the largest online global charging network connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. ChargePoint offers service plans of cloud-based solutions that handle all drivers billing and support. This provides organizations the control and flexibility they need to optimize performance of their electric vehicle charging operations. Open to all charging station manufacturers, stations on ChargePoint are currently dispensing over
577 Megawatt hours of energy each month, with drivers plugging in for more than 3,300 charging sessions per day. For more information: visit www.chargepoint.com. Follow us on Twitter @chargepointnet. Like us on Facebook @ChargePoint.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please add a feature to the iPhone App that indicates a car is done charging but the wand has not been returned to the charger. Since CP sends a text of the "unplugging" event it should be very easy to add. This could be indicated as a "yellow pin" status in the App and let people know a car is done charging but is likely still in the space. It's no fun heading to a spot with a green "available" pin on the app only to see the car still sitting there , plugged in but done charging.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's no press release below.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well . . . that is a nice indication that BMW is still committed to bringing out its EVs. Of course they kind of have to in order to keep selling cars in California. I still don't understand how these charging companies can survive. The EV market is very small, growing slower than many anticipated, and most EVs just charge at home 95+% of the time. Seems like they are living on government money & corporate sponsorship right now.
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guess who walked out of the bar alone?
      Scambuster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now, if they all would agree on a Fast DC charger standard instead of turf wars.