We featured Plugsurfing at one of our Cleantech Revolution Tour conferences many moons ago and wrote about the company several times back then, but if you’re new to the EV charging brand (as I think we all have to admit, have a of the hottest names in the industry), the short synopsis is that Plugsurfing connects a multitude of electric charging networks and allows its customers to charge up all over Europe with one card or app. It is a must-have for anyone going on an electric car road trip in Europe. XPeng is apparently well aware of this as it has partnered with Plugsurfing to ensure its early buyers in Norway have seamless access to the network.
An XPeng buyer in Norway will receive a co-branded charging key that they can use at any of the 300,000 charging ports Plugsurfing gives them access to. It makes it much easier to get to different corners of Europe than many people think.
“It’s great to see XPeng join the club of international car brands that chose us for their European charging solution. We are delighted to have them as part of our alliance and to offer their drivers a world-class charging solution,” says Plugsurfing Chief Sales Officer Michael Warner.
XPeng started offering electric cars to consumers in Norway in 2020, and by 2022 it has opened stores in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. But for now, the Plugsurfing collaboration is only for its Norwegian customers. I imagine that will change over time and it will expand to the other markets where XPeng does business.
If you follow smart electric car startups from China, then you know that NIO is the other big young brand that got off to a good start in China and is now expanding to Europe. NIO has also partnered with Plugsurfing in Norway (as well as Volvo, Polestar, Renault and Jaguar Land Rover). So whatever brand draws a Norwegian to take home one of their models, the new buyer can be sure that they will have access to the extensive network of EV chargers in Norway and far beyond, to which Plugsurfing provides access and easy payment.
XPeng sales have been a bit slow in Norway recently, but I expect them to catch on more and pick up over time in the country of EVs. Perhaps the Plugsurfing partnership will provide the bounce the company is looking for. With limited production capacity compared to demand, one can of course only guess how much of the drop in sales is due to modest demand in Norway versus limited supply. And that does not mean that NIO is doing better in Norway – it is not.
Norway is the most mature electric market in the world, with 83% of new vehicle sales being plug-in vehicles last month and 70.7% being fully electric vehicles. XPeng has offices in Norway, but its European headquarters are in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Founded in Berlin in 2012 and bought by Fortum Oyj in 2018, Plugsurfing has “handled more than 20 million charging sessions” to date. Expect it to pass 40 million long before another decade passes.
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