FRANKFURT (Reuters) - ChargePoint, a U.S. maker and operator of electric vehicle charging stations, said on Thursday it struck a deal with petrol station service group Technical Services Group (TSG), marking the latest step in the group's European expansion efforts.
Through the deal, ChargePoint hopes to draw on TSG's strong presence on the continent, where the France-based company provides maintenance services to about 32,000 petrol stations and is also active in their construction.
Privately-held TSG, formerly part of Tokheim before it was sold to U.S. industrial conglomerate Dover last year, supplies equipment and services to the fuel distribution industry in Europe and Africa.
The cooperation, which is aimed at business clients, will cover site construction, installation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging stations, which are expected to grow in number as carmakers shift toward battery-powered vehicles.
Power utilities, tech start-ups and oil majors are all fighting to establish themselves as the dominant players in this fast-growing part of the e-mobility industry. [nL8N1LF39T]
"This partnership is a key lever in developing our European roll-out," Christopher Burghardt, ChargePoint's European managing director who previously worked for embattled ride-hailing group Uber [UBER.UL], told Reuters. [nL8N1MS37G]
ChargePoint supplies charging hardware and software used to connect outlets. It owns no re-charging stations of its own but works like an Airbnb or Uber to create a network of locations and schedule bookings at available charge points.
Counting BMW, Daimler and Siemens among its owners, ChargePoint has recently raised $125 million to expand outside its home market in the United States and into Europe. [nL8N1LB33C]
Initially, the partnership between ChargePoint and TSG will cover France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Britain, with the opportunity to expand across Europe, ChargePoint said.
"Many businesses are eager to be part of the future of mobility as more drivers choose EVs and cities and countries encourage electrification, and we're excited to be able to help them," TSG Chief Executive Baudouin de la Tour said.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Adrian Croft)