Israeli-based solar manufacturer SolarEdge announced last week that it was teaming up with Google to integrate Google Assistant into its own electric-vehicle charging solar inverter, only days after it announced the acquisition of Italian e-mobility company S.M.R.E Spa.
Announced during the mammoth Consumer Electronic Show (CES) held at the Las Vegas Convention Center last week, integrating Google Assistant into SolarEdge’s EV-charging solar inverter – the first of its kind – means that consumers can now tell their Google Assistant to start and stop charging of their electric vehicle.
The news came as Google announced a whole range of new devices that their Assistant now works with, and also includes eMotorWerks’ home EV charging station, the JuiceBox Level 2 (in addition to irrigation services, new devices and appliances, and McAfee’s Secure Home Platform).
“Smart homes have mainly been about convenience and interconnectivity, but the next step of the smart home is integrating smart energy management, such as EV charging,” said Lior Handelsman, SolarEdge’s Founder and VP of Marketing and Product Strategy.
“By merging the simplicity of smart homes with the value of smart energy through this collaboration with Google, SolarEdge is leading the way in making the power of smart solar energy more accessible to more people”
SolarEdge is the first company to introduce an electric-vehicle charging inverter which enables consumers to directly charge their electric vehicles with electricity generated by their rooftop solar panels.
The EV charging inverter also allows customers to charge their vehicles up to 2.5 times faster than a standard EV charger through a simultaneous combination of grid and PV electricity.
The news came two days after SolarEdge announced that it was entering the e-mobility market with its acquisition of S.M.R.E Spa (SMRE), an Italian company boasting three business units – e-mobility, automated production machine, and telematics software.
SMRE was formed in 1999 and has over 15 years of experience developing end-to-end e-mobility solutions – such as high-performance powertrains with e-mobtor, motor drive, gearbox, battery, BMS, chargers, Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) and software for electric vehicles – for electric and hybrid vehicles such as motorcycles, commercial vehicles, and trucks.
SolarEdge will purchase acquire 51 per cent of the company by acquiring outstanding shares currently held by the founder and two additional stockholders for a investment totalling around $77 million – with half to be paid in cash and the other half to be paid in shares of SolarEdge common stock – with the transaction to be closed in the coming weeks.
This will be followed by a mandatory tender offer in which SolarEdge will offer to purchase the remaining outstanding SMRE shares in an all cash transation.
The acquisition by SolarEdge makes sense considering that, with governments and automotive manufacturers around the world committing themselves to the electrification of transportation, the electric vehicle industry is expected increase from around 1 million electric vehicles in 2018 to around 20 million being produced and bought each year in 2030.
“The acquisition of SMRE is another step in executing our strategy of sustainable growth by addressing an additional fast growing and technologically synergetic market while diversifying into new fields outside the solar arena,” explained Guy Sella, CEO, Chairman and Founder of SolarEdge.
“SMRE’s innovative technology and experienced, successful team provides SolarEdge with fast-track access to the high-growth e-mobility market. We believe that combining SMRE’s vast experience and full powertrain technology with SolarEdge’s innovative power and battery technology, proven operational excellence and global reach, positions us to become a market leader in this important market.”
“SMRE built a strong team that has developed products addressing the current and future needs of the e-mobility market,” added Samuele Mazzini, CEO, Chairman and Founder of SMRE.
“SMRE’s expertise together with SolarEdge’s successful business track record, R&D capabilities and innovative power electronics will favorably position us in the global transition to e-mobility.”