BMW backs electric car charging startup Coulomb

BMW’s venture fund, BMW i Ventures, has invested in electric car charging company Coulomb Technologies, according to a release. BMW launched its $100 million fund — its first to date — last year to focus on “mobility,” including mobile apps, in car services and auto navigation.

Why solar and electric cars should be friends

Solar power and electric cars are an ideal match. Both are tied to the grid, and disruptive technologies, which are in an early market stage and which are trying to reduce costs. Partnerships just make sense.

The cloud: now for connecting electric cars

The car, and in particular the electric car, is the latest device to get plugged in to the cloud. Coulomb Technologies, which makes networked electric-vehicle charging stations, plans to start selling cloud-based services for managing electric-vehicle charging.

Why Fast-Charging EVs Won’t Be Just Like Filling the Gas Tank

Fast-charging stations could be a major boon to the nascent electric vehicle industry, but don’t expect them to become as common or as easy to use as gas stations anytime soon. Plenty of obstacles remain, and businesses might want to wait until the standards issues have been settled before placing any big bets.

NRG Energy: Pros and Cons of a Multi-Pronged Green Strategy

NRG Energy has taken big stakes in solar and wind power generation, has a lot of green power retailing clout and is planning the first-ever for profit car charging network in the United States. What are the strengths and drawbacks of this end-to-end green power moneymaking strategy?

Today in Cleantech

NRG Energy is taking a Texas, deregulated approach to the electric car charging field and going for a privately financed charging network in Houston. The “eVgo” network will offer customers deals from $49 to $89 a month that can include semi-fast home charging devices and fast-charging stations from Aerovironment planned for Walgreens, Best Buy and H-E-B parking lots around the city — and it also has a deal with Nissan to make the eVgo the exclusive charging arrangement for Houston-area buyers of the upcoming Nissan LEAF electric sedan. Texas’s deregulated power market allows NRG to sell the service through its own retail electricity providers — Reliant Energy and recently acquired Green Mountain Energy — as well as competitors like Direct Energy and TXU Energy. Translating the model to more regulated power markets could be tricky — but NRG, along with rental car partner Hertz, want to bring eVgo to San Antonio and Austin, two monopoly municipal utility markets in Texas.

Coulomb Technologies Picks Up $14M for Electric Car Charging

With plug-in cars like the Chevy Volt, Tesla’s Model S, the plug-in Prius and Nissan’s (s NSANY) LEAF all set to hit the market in the next couple of years, get ready for an electric vehicle infrastructure boom. Investors are — this morning Coulomb Technologies, an EV infrastructure startup based in Campbell, Calif., announced that it has raised $14 million in second-round financing. Voyager Capital and Rho Ventures led the round, while Hartford Ventures (s HIG) and Siemens Venture Capital also joined.

At more than triple the size of Coulomb’s$3.8 million Series A round funding round a year ago, this latest funding suggests a serious ramp-up ahead for the 3-year-old company. Coulomb says the new funds will help it expand research and development, operations and sales, and gain ground in markets in Asia and South America — the latest targets in the overseas expansion Coulomb began last year, focusing initially on Europe.
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