Twelve years ago, Hans de Boer and Jurjen de Jong had the belief that electric vehicles would be the transportation of the future. Both Hans and Jurjen worked at Better Place, a startup aiming to change the world by installing massive battery switch stations for electric vehicles.
They learned a lot about what works for EVs and especially what does not work; realizing that all car manufacturers should be on board and a connected charging infrastructure was necessary to accommodate all vehicles. The idea of GreenFlux was born – to set up an open network of connected charging stations operating in an ecosystem within the boundaries of the electricity grid.
In 2011, GreenFlux was established in the Netherlands, one of the first countries stimulating electric vehicles and a leader in charging infrastructure. The start was difficult; there were only refurbished combustion cars around in the Netherlands. Luckily, during that time, there was significant government support for pioneering companies to develop the electric vehicle business. Among others the Formula E-Team was set up, headed by Prins Maurits van Oranje.
Jurjen and Hans first experimented with connected charge stations at their own homes. They did numerous test drives with interested parties in their first electric car. The first B2B customer was Antea Group and Renault was also an early partner. To make electric driving easier and reliable, GreenFlux was the first to roll out a nationwide network of semi-fast chargers at prime locations along highways in cooperation with ANWB, Van der Valk and La Place in the Netherlands. The first semi fast charging location was built at La Place in Laren.
Figure 1. First charging point of GreenFlux.
ICT Group became the first technology partner of GreenFlux, helping to build the first version of the smart charging platform. ICT Group was also one of the first electric fleet customers of the Charge Point Operator business of GreenFlux.
The first smart charging project was established with Enexis, with 16 chargers in their parking garage. The number of chargers later grew to charging one hundred cars with the same connection capacity. GreenFlux became the first company with a cloud-based smart charging solution. During this period, there was a fast growth in smart charging projects. Along with Enexis and ElaadNL, the technology for smart charging was further developed and incorporated in the Open Charge Point protocols (OCPP 1.6 and 2.0).
GreenFlux soon noticed not all hardware from existing charging stations were ready for smart charging, and therefore developed the GreenFlux Smart Charging Controller. This compact-designed controller fits in all existing charging stations and transforms them into connected devices, therefore, fully grasping the opportunities for smart EV charging infrastructures.
Figure 2. The GreenFlux Smart Charging Controller.
Wanting to expand the EV growth globally, GreenFlux played a vital role in the development of open standards, such as OCPP, OCPI and OSCP, promoting interoperability and achieving supplier independence. These open protocols are used as a basis for the GreenFlux EV charging platform. The protocols also grew to be industry standards used on a global scale for roaming. Today, they are being widely used by Charge Point Operators and e-Mobility Service Providers. Further improvements of these open protocols continue to be made as GreenFlux actively cooperates with other companies on creating these improvements.
In 2015, GreenFlux developed its platform into a white-label cloud-based software to help customers manage their EV charging networks. Eneco became one of its first clients. 2015 was also the year that GreenFlux entered its first financing round, securing funding from ICT Group NV and BOM Brabant Ventures.
Since then, GreenFlux started to gain an international client base, catering to Total PitPoint’s and Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) needs with its state-of-the-art solutions. Together with WPD, GreenFlux joined the Electric Nation Project, the largest smart charging trial in the world. The project’s aim was to build an understanding of the potential impact that the increasing number of electric vehicles will have on electricity grids and networks. The backbone of the project was GreenFlux’ smart charging technology, monitoring the overall demand of chargers and reducing this total demand by instructing individual chargers to reduce the power available.
Figure 3. Electric Nation Model.
In 2018, GreenFlux entered its second financing round, securing funding from existing shareholders BOM Brabant Ventures and ICT Group NV and new shareholders Eneco Group and SET Ventures.
Ever since, GreenFlux has been the industry leader in smart charging solutions for electric vehicles. The charge point network operator and service provider business, with over 3,000 charge points, has served as the living lab for development of the GreenFlux EV charging platform. The Dutch CPO and EMSP activities have recently been divested to Joulz Charging Solutions. Read more about that here.
GreenFlux is now in an accelerated scale-up phase to further roll out its platform across selected key markets in Europe, Asia and the United States. The EV charging platform is provided to leading charge point operators and service providers and companies of the utility, oil and gas and automotive industries.
As of 2020, GreenFlux is active in 21 countries on five continents with an ecosystem of more than 160,000 charging points (including roaming) and more than 1.65 million EV drivers. More than 28,000 charge points from various clients are connected to the cloud-based system. A strong focus is put on smart solutions to help customers build sound business models for a future business of managing assets and charging electric vehicles. GreenFlux’ product is currently being used by customers all of the world, such as Eneco, Renault, Total Gas & Power, Singapore Power, Pitpoint, ICS, UKPN, Joulz and Engie.
GreenFlux fully focuses on the development of the GreenFlux EV charging platform and the international growth of the company now. Nowadays, there is a strong focus on billing solutions to help customers build sound business models for their end customers and fleets. To support the customer’s EV business and to provide an interface to the EV-driver, GreenFlux also offers the Charge Assist charging app.
GreenFlux continues to work towards the mission building a sustainable future by making electric driving the new worldwide standard.