Enel X Way Sees a Future Where Mobility is a Service, Not a Product
By Alexis Christoforous EXCLUSIVE for the Voice of Business
Enel X Way is making a big push to expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations across North America. The global smart e-mobility platform of Italy’s Enel Group has partnered with U.S.-based Stable Software to provide businesses and cities with information on where charging stations are needed most.
Together, the companies will analyze millions of real-life charging sessions from thousands of EV chargers to understand how factors such as traffic, EV sales, income, and nearby attractions impact usage.
Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Enel X Way, tells The Voice of Business that this kind of data-driven analytics is needed as EV sales continue to skyrocket and the number of new EV drivers outpaces the number of new EV charging stations.
“Mobility is becoming more a service than a product,” Ripa says. “To that extent as a utility, Enel will definitely play an important role because we aim to make things very simple for our customers.”
Ripa says finding the right partners is key to expanding Enel’s footprint across a variety of markets and industries, including real estate, automotive, and utilities.
Enel X, which currently operates in 17 countries including the U.S. and China, recently entered a partnership with San Francisco-based Airbnb to provide charging stations at thousands of its vacation rentals. It also has a long-standing agreement with the Italian supermarket chain Conad that allows customers to charge their vehicles while shopping for groceries.
“We like to partner with the strongest players in the market,” Ripa says. “In the end, the customers are not interested in understanding technologies they want to use a new way of moving with the same approach, but with a better customer experience than in the past.”
Enel X recently completed a microgrid for Global Partners, one of the Northeast’s largest owners of independent gas stations and convenience stores.
The microgrid at Global Partner’s Alltown Fresh facility in Ayer, Massachusetts integrates a solar canopy, battery storage, and a portable generator. The project also includes a 50 kW JuicePump, which can charge vehicle batteries up to 80% of their battery capacity in 30 to 60 minutes.
Enel X designed, built, operated, and financed the project.
It’s the first project to be completed under InnovateMass’ Resilient Service Stations Challenge, which seeks to ensure continuous backup power for service stations near evacuation routes across the state using clean energy and electric mobility solutions.
Ripa, who is the former CEO of Telecom Argentina SA, says these partnerships all work to support how people and things move now and into the future.
A big part of that, she says, is becoming independent producers of energy. Ripa says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shines a light on how regions, including Europe, need to become energy independent.
“This is going to completely reshape the way we are thinking and building the future of our economy,” Ripa says. “We realize that we are too dependent on other countries, so for example, Italy definitely has to push on renewable sources. We have to invest and pave the way for future development, not just in the short-term, but for future generations.”