[Photo by Park Hyung-ki]
A majority equity investment in Kreisel by U.S.-based manufacturer John Deere, will bring superfast electric vehicle charging units to South Korea as a testbed for its entry into the bigger Asian market.
It would be the first global name to advance into the Korean EV charger market.
John Deere acquired a majority stake in Austrian battery pioneer, Kreisel Electric earlier this year. Kreisel will foray into Korea in cooperation with Korea’s leading EV charger maker Everon in the second half of this year, according to industry sources on Wednesday.
“The company has recently signed a strategic partnership MOU with Kreisel Electric for joint operation of the Korean business. We’re aiming to jointly enter into the Asian market by combing technical capabilities and services of both companies,” said an official from Everon.
Kreisel Electric, founded in 2014, has successfully expanded its business from battery packs to EV chargers and energy storage systems. Batteries used in its products are reportedly supplied from LG Energy Solution. John Deere made a strategic investment in the company to raise its competitiveness in electrification.
Everon is Korea’s second-largest EV charger solutions company in terms of the number of slow chargers installed last year and has grabbed attention in the market after raising 10 billion won ($7.7 million) in funding from SK Networks early this year.
Since establishment as a subsidiary of LG CNS in 2012, The company launched the first EV ride-sharing service at home in 2013, supplied EV charging infrastructure after being selected as a partner by the Ministry of Environment in 2017, joined forces with Kakao Mobility and T Map Mobility for EV charging service in 2021, and installed quick chargers for Seoul City electric taxis in 2022.
[Source: John Deere]
On the back of the successful business, Everon’s yearly revenue exceeded 10 billion won for the first time last year.
Korea’s big conglomerates recently have declared EV charging business as new growth engine and are aggressively seeking ways to lead the market.
SK Group’s holding entity SK Inc. acquired a 55.5 percent stake in EV charging units maker Signet EV (currently, SK Signet) for 290 billion won in April last year. GS Group’s energy unit GS Energy also set a joint-venture dubbed G-Connect with local charging solutions firm GNTEL in July last year.
Auto conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group which launched superfast charging platform brand E-pit secured the management right for the Korea Electric Vehicle Charging Service (KEVCS) in October last year.
This year, LG Group and Hanwha Solutions joined the race with building of LS E-Link and Hanwha Motiev.
The EV market is fast growing in Korea, but the charging infrastructure is still composed mostly of hours-long chargers. As of the end of last year, the number of slow chargers registered in Korea totaled 90,000 units, or 86 percent versus 15,000 units in quick chargers or 14 percent.
Industry experts expect introduction of Kreisel’s superfast charging units will give more options to customers as well as creating business synergy with Everon’s slow chargers.
Kreisel Electric has developed Chimero ultra-fast charging station equipped with energy storage system. The charger has significantly reduced the fire risk and the burden for power grid.
By Lee Yoon-jae and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]