ENERES – Growing the EV charging infrastructure in Greece

Summary 

The electric mobility market in Greece is still in its initial phase of growth. ENERES has taken the leap to establish themselves in the market early on and decided to make e-mobility a key part of their business focus. Virta has enabled ENERES to provide their customers an opportunity to run an EV charging business in a scalable way. 

The electrification of mobility and its staggering growth pushes countries all over the world to develop proposals and incentives to support the growth even further. Greece is part of that push. The Greek government recently announced a plan for the complete decarbonisation of the country. That would mean shutting down all lignite-fired power plants and turning towards the use of renewable energy.   

Currently, only about 2000 electric cars are roaming the Greek roads. However, the Greek government is providing incentives for electric cars and introducing plans to expand the EV charging infrastructure across the country. It is evident that Greece is now ready to move towards electrification of mobility and sustainability above all else. 

EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM 

ENERES CPM is a Greece and Cyprus-based consulting and engineering company specialised in the energy field. ENERES was established in 2010 and has since grown exponentially—providing not only energy consulting but also e-mobility services as of 2019.   

ENERES understood their chance to enter the growing EV charging market in its initial stages. They decided to focus on providing e-mobility services among their other service offerings. The announcements of governmental incentives for e-mobility confirmed that ENERES had made the right decision. Being one of the early entrants in the market is a big competitive advantage for ENERES. 

“We are one of the five major private EV charging networks in Greece. We have secured our position in the destination charging market,” says Thomas Filippou, the CEO of ENERES CPM. 

BUILDING TRUST CLOSES THE DEAL 

ENERES made the shift to focus on e-mobility but needed a suitable solution. The decision to create their own solution was reconsidered after assessing all the risks that come with it. That’s how the journey of finding a partner providing a ready-made solution started. 

After a thorough market search, ENERES discovered Virta and recognised opportunities for expansion that the Virta solution offered. That's when our joint journey began. 

After doing some online research about Virta and reading several customer cases and reviews, ENERES felt confident about Virta even before any talks had started. Furthermore, Virta’s professional approach built the trust ENERES needed to make the final decision. 

“The final step that made everything clear for us was the help we got during the discussions. Virta had no obligation to provide us with consulting, but we’ve gotten that since the beginning. That made us choose Virta," Filippou shares. 

ENERES decided to become a Virta partner to be able to grow an extensive EV charging network in Greece. Being part of the Virta Partner program makes it easy for ENERES to focus on selling the service to their own customers, while Virta takes care of all the complexities of running the service. 

Virta enables ENERES to provide their key clients with a highly scalable way to grow an EV charging business with their clients' own brand at the forefront. Providing a fully branded service to their customers was crucial for ENERES. 

Filippou expands on the added value of the Virta fully branded service: “We can propose to our key clients to promote their EV charging business with their own branding to their own customers. We liked that.” 

Before ENERES decided to enter the world of EV charging and explore the business opportunities it provides, their core business was in the energy field — mainly energy consulting. Energy management and RES integration aspects and functions of the Virta platform enabled ENERES to expand their existing clientele as well as access new ones.

“This opens many doors to the clientele we didn’t have before, and through those doors, we can expand our business further,” says Filippou. 

METRO — My marketDEVELOPING AN EXTENSIVE PUBLIC EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE 

Destination charging is a significant part of the EV charging business — EV drivers buy where they can charge and with the constantly growing number of EVs, the need for an extensive EV charging infrastructure is necessary. ENERES was aware of this need, since public EV charging had not been developed in Greece yet. That's when ENERES decided to take the lead.20210406_103521ENERES found the ideal partner — METRO Industrial & Commercial S.A. The supermarket chain has over 230 retail (MyMarket) and 50 wholesale (METRO Cash & Carry) supermarkets throughout Greece. Moreover, METRO's sustainable philosophy matched ENERES’s business model and their efforts perfectly. In cooperation with Virta, ENERES was able to install 160 AC chargers in 2020 in Metro My Market supermarkets. The total number of installed chargers is expected to be 320 AC chargers — currently under an ongoing installation —which is planned to be finalised by the end of 2022. 

To provide added value to their customers, ENERES decided to introduce the concept of “media chargers.” This innovative solution provides a space for advertisement that connects all clientele in an EV charging ecosystem. The first out of 30 media chargers were installed in a MyMarket store in Athens in April 2021.  

In the future, ENERES could also offer targeted advertisements that connects adverts with the EV driver charging at the media charger. The opportunities an EV charging business offers are vast and surely worth exploring.20210406_103746

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR ENERES? 

The next step for ENERES is to develop a public EV charging network in municipalities across the country using the Virta backend system. The citizens could enjoy the benefits of public EV charging from September 2021 onwards, when the first chargers are planned to be installed.

With the planned charger installations for the rest of 2021 and the year 2022, ENERES will more than double the total amount of public charging points currently available in Greece.

Furthermore, new cooperation for ENERES has already emerged. Thanks to the interoperability of the Virta platform and its capability to connect various clients and networks through EV roaming, ENERES sealed the deal with Ford. They will be providing CPO (charging point operator) services to Ford dealers in Greece.

Entering a new market can bring certain difficulties when trying to sell a service. Greece is still taking small steps in growing the EV charging market and selling the Virta service sometimes proved to be difficult. This is especially true when they're selling to decision-makers, many of whom are very new to the EV charging scene. 

“Even though selling the Virta services and the ideology wasn’t always easy, we had support all along the way,” adds Filippou. 

The know-how and established name of Virta combined with the great positioning of ENERES in the Greek EV charging market creates a significant competitive advantage. With the help of Virta, ENERES Is able to provide the best possible service to their customers. What also adds to this advantage is honesty. 

“One of our added values is that we stay true, and we are honest. That creates a good name for us in the market and allows us to expand steadily,” explains Filippou. 

Altogether, ENERES powered by Virta is on the right path to success. 

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