FRANKFURT Leading German energy group Innogy is combining its activities relating to electric vehicles into a new unit, seeking to benefit from renewed efforts by global carmakers to increase sales.
With about 5,300 charging points in over 20 countries, Innogy already operates one of the largest such networks for electric vehicles in Europe.
The new unit, eMobility, will launch at the start of January and be headed by Elke Temme, who will report to Martin Herrmann, board member in charge of Innogy's retail operations, the company said on Wednesday.
Temme has held a number of management positions at Innogy and its majority owner RWE since 2002. The new division also includes Innogy's eCar sharing business and efforts to develop a standard payment method for charging stations.
"eMobility is the global growth story today," Innogy Chief Executive Peter Terium said.
He confirmed the company would be interested in supplying charging stations to a group of carmakers that last month announced they would cooperate to boost the use of electric cars.
"The initiative of the carmakers to set up a fast-charging network across Europe is an excellent idea. And we are ready to provide our state-of-the-art solutions and systems," Terium said.
In November, four of the world's top carmakers -- Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Daimler, BMW and Ford -- agreed to invest in thousands of fast-charging sites across Europe to boost mainstream acceptance of electric cars.
Innogy, in which utility RWE holds a 76.8 percent stake, is not disclosing how much sales or profits it makes in the business area of electric mobility.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Keith Weir)