Brand spanking new French startup Electra has raised €15 million with the ambitious goal of placing 1,000 ultra-fast electric vehicle stations across France by 2030. Electra is addressing the elephant in the room with EVs, namely the lack of availability and access to charging stations.
Founded in 2020 Electra is based in Paris and founded by ex-Cheerz founder and CEO Aurélien de Meaux, ex-Cheerz Engineering Manager Maxime Garcia, and former zero-emissions mobility solutions provider Symbio developer Augustin Derville. The trio realised that the electric vehicle proposition is doomed to fail without a high-quality public charging infrastructure.
"During the first lockdown in 2020, we realized that we were living in less noisy, less polluted cities, but it was only temporary. We like the idea that in 20 years' time, thanks to electric mobility, our cities will breathe, and we will find a peaceful quality of life. It’s only a matter of time before everything goes electric, from two wheels to the car. Even financial concerns are bound to disappear, as electric car prices are expected to fall by 50% in the next 5 to 6 years. Clean mobility will no longer be a luxury,” says de Meaux.
Projecting technological advancements, Electra claims that charging an electric vehicle will be almost as fast as fueling a petrol-powered banger by 2030. Progressive French cities including Saint-Ouen and its mayor Karim Bouamrane have already expressed interest in ultra-fast charging stations, hoping to pre-empt demand from consumers.
These super speed charging stations, 100% financed by Electra, will be positioned in shopping centers, supermarkets, hotels, or parking lots, with 50 locations planned within a year. The first stations are planned for installation in Q4 of this year.
While perhaps not the biggest favourite amongst the EU as of late, Electra's thinking falls in line with the UK's commitment to ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles from 2030, and a number of member states have similar thoughts by 2035.
Electra’s funding arrives via Serena, Eurazeo and Frst Venture. Several angel investors including Grégory Frapet, CEO of Primonial REIM, Thibault Chassagne and Karim Kaddoura, founders and managers of Virtuo, Bertrand Altmayer, CEO of Cityscoot, and Demba Diallo, an energy sector expert also participated.