E-mobility services are a key part of energy company Oomi’s offering. Oomi was established in Spring 2020 and it is one of the biggest energy companies in Finland. Oomi offers electric car charging to housing co-operatives, homeowners and companies on a turnkey basis. Thanks to Virta's comprehensive Branded service, Oomi can focus on reselling and business growth.
“We have hectic months behind us, but the feeling is great. We have a solid foundation in place, and we can start pushing the pedal now”, says Timo Kenttälä, Product Manager at Oomi Energy, with satisfaction.
The energy company Oomi, which started operations in April 2020, is Finland's third largest electricity seller with more than 400,000 customers. Oomi's founding companies, eleven local energy utilities from all over Finland, joined forces to sell electricity, solar power panels and e-mobility solutions at competitive prices.
According to Kenttälä, electric car (EV) charging solutions are a key part of Oomi's offering. The founding companies have solid experience in the energy field, and it was clear from the start that Oomi will focus on e-mobility.
Demand for EV charging services will soon increase dramatically, as the price parity between internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and EVs is predicted to be reached within the next couple of years. Those companies that are among the first to offer EV charging services to their customers will have a competitive advantage.
“Mobility is becoming electric at an accelerating pace. As an energy company, we wanted to find our place in this development and make EV charging services a profitable business”, explains Kenttälä.
Scope, agility and reliability
But first, Oomi had to find a suitable partner.
“We started with an open mind. We studied carefully what kind of different intelligent charging solutions there are on the market and what would be the best for us”, says Kenttälä.
Oomi wanted to act as a reseller of EV charging solutions throughout Finland and offer EV charging to workplaces, housing co-operatives and homeowners on a turnkey basis.
“It was essential for us that the charging services are easy to use for our customers. But equally, running the charging business had to be effortless for us. We want to be agile and focus on sales.”
Oomi had discussions with several potential companies. In the end, Virta Branded solution stood out from the rest.
First of all, according to Kenttälä, Virta had a clear vision of the future and where the electric car charging market is going.
“Virta is a reliable and an experienced global player with a track-record to match. Virta was able to assure us that they can stay one step ahead and develop their platform quickly.”
Virta keeps growing rapidly and in a sustainable way not only in Finland but also globally. The public charging network is comprehensive and the offering covers solutions from housing cooperatives to large companies and from intelligent energy services to ultra-fast and home charging.
“Virta’s scope, scalability and development capabilities were in a class of their own,” concludes Kenttälä.
Minimum effort, maximum benefit
Ultimately, the deciding factor was Virta’s unique solution called Branded.
“Charging an electric car is simple: just plug in the cable and electricity starts to flow and the driver flashes the card. But there is a lot going on behind the scenes: it is complicated to run an EV charging business”, Kenttälä points out.
The EV charging business includes much more than just the chargers. Operating a traditional charging service comes with a heavy load of responsibilities: customer support, technical problem solving, payments, customer credit risk, roaming services and charger management to mention a few. Building the necessary capabilities and organization takes time and money.
“Virta Branded solution helps to make this easy. Virta takes care of all the responsibilities and technical complexities of running the service”, explains Kenttälä.
In other words, with a Branded solution, Oomi can take advantage of all the benefits of being an e-mobility service provider without the responsibilities related to running the business.
Kenttälä was especially surprised by how much technical expertise is required to run the charging service.
“There’s an incredible number of things one needs to know, and customers are waiting for answers right away. The expert support is even more important for a new player like us.”
Acoording to Kenttälä, Oomi has worked in close cooperation with Virta.
“Virta’s support services work very well. We have received professional responses quickly.”
In the Virta Branded solution, the entire charging experience is, as the name implies, branded for Oomi.
“We got clear tools from Virta and the process was fast. All we had to do was deliver our logo and the chargers were ready to be sold.”
Charging infrastructure for a new era
The first months of Oomi have been fast paced. One of Oomi's customers is SOK Hämeenmaa, which belongs to Finland’s largest retail group S-Group. Branded Oomi charging points, powered by the Virta platform, can already be found in SOK Hämeenmaa's key retail locations.
In autumn 2020, the first two SOK Hämeenmaa ABC petrol stations have also received 150kW fast charging stations which are still a rarity in Finland. Virta UFC High Power Charger is a 150-kilowatt ultrafast charging station with 2 CCS plugs. The charging station can therefore charge two electric cars at the same time.
"Together with Virta, we are building an efficient charging infrastructure in Finland, which makes driving long distances with electric cars worry-free," says Kenttälä.
Oomi's business strategy is ambitious, but the future looks promising.
“With the Virta Branded solution, we can focus on selling e-mobility services and growing our business in line with our strategy. The situation could not be better.”
Oomi Energy is a Finnish energy company that was founded in Spring 2020. Oomi wanted to offer EV charging to workplaces, housing co-operatives, homeowners and companies on a turnkey basis. The company needed a partner to take care of the numerous responsibilities associated with running the EV charging business, so that Oomi could focus on selling e-mobility services and growing a productive business.
Oomi Energy mapped out options and discussed with several companies. Virta Branded solution stood out. Virta’s solid experience, global know-how, the scope of the charging network, scalability and the capabilities to develop the platform were in a class of their own. Virta Branded solution enables Oomi to outsource all of the numerous responsibilities and tasks related to running the charging business. With the Branded solution, Oomi can take advantage of all the benefits of being an e-mobility service provider without the responsibilities related to running the business.
Oomi Energy is one of Finland's largest electricity utilities. Founded in the Spring 2020, Oomi has more than 400,000 customers. Oomi’s mission is to provide electricity, useful services and people-oriented customer service always at a competitive price. Oomi focuses on electricity, solar power solutions and e-mobility.
”Mobility is becoming electric at an accelerating pace. As an energy company, we want to be part of this and find our place.”