ABB Expands Role in Electric-Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Acquires Epyon B.V.

ABB, a provider of power and automation technology, announced on July 1 the acquisition of Epyon B.V., an early leader in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure solutions focusing on DC fast-charging stations and network-charger software.

Founded in 2005, Epyon is headquartered in Rijswijk, Netherlands, and has an R&D center in Eindhoven.

"This acquisition gives ABB access to competitive products, key network management software, and a robust maintenance service business model, which ideally complements our own offering," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB's Discrete Automation and Motion division.

The growing number of electric vehicles is driving a global market opportunity for charging solutions, including supporting technologies to equip the electrical grid with more sophisticated monitoring systems and software.

EV charging-station unit sales are expected to multiply rapidly over the next five years, and reach 1.6 million units globally by 2015, according to Pike Research.

Epyon's DC fast-charging stations have been in commercial use since May 2010, and reduce charging time to 15 minutes compared with 6 to 8 hours using a standard AC charger outlet, according to the company.

Its equipment and software also enables the charging station owner to monitor conditions and requirements of the station, linking billing and administrative needs. It provides a range of different charging methods for each of the station connections, enabling it to tailor charging to various start conditions, power requirements and charging times.

This strategic purchase follows ABB's investment in San Francisco-based ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, which enabled ABB to enter North America's electric-vehicle charging market.

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