Volkswagen takes stake in e-mobility service group Hubject

The logo of Volkswagen company is seen on a car on an assembly line at the Volkswagen car factory in Palmela, Portugal, December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen VWOG_p.DE has taken a stake in Hubject, which is developing a standard method to map and pay at electric charging stations, joining fellow carmakers, utilities and engineering groups that prepare for an expected e-car boom.

Hubject, which also counts BMW, Bosch [ROBG.UL], Daimler, Siemens, EnBW and Innogy among its owners, will also receive a fresh single-digit million euro funding round, co-Chief Executive Thomas Daiber said.

“That way we can better expand our business in the future,” he told Reuters on Thursday. “Together with our new shareholder we will be working at top speed to push forward with interconnecting the charging infrastructure.”

Uptake of electric vehicles in Germany and elsewhere in Europe has been slow due to their limited range, the small number of fast charging stations and different payment methods.

As a result, leading carmakers, including Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, last month agreed to invest in thousands of fast electric charging sites across Europe to fuel demand.

“With our investment in Hubject we are supporting the digital transformation and making an important contribution to the transition to the era of e-mobility,” Thomas Sedran, head of group strategy at Volkswagen, said in a statement.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Maria Sheahan