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ChargePoint blazes into Europe on $82M funding wave

Its charging network is determined to expand beyond North America.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: A ChargePoint electric vehicle charger is displayed during the Drive The Dream event at the Exploratorium on September 16, 2013 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown met with California corporate leaders at Drive The Dream to discuss progress in the adoption of electric vehicles and workplace charging stations at businesses in the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Not content to relegate its mark on EV infrastructure to North America, ChargePoint is expanding into Europe, and it's got a big pile of cash with which to do so.

ChargePoint will use an $82 million funding round to finance its expansion into Europe, as markets the world over begin embracing and preparing for the eventual onslaught of electric cars. Daimler led this round of investing, and previous investors hopped in, too, including BMW i Ventures and Rho Capital Partners. To date, ChargePoint has raised more than $255 million in capital.

As an occasional overseas business traveler, it would be a neat perk to have an EV charging app that worked on multiple continents.

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"The automobile industry is at an inflection point, with more vehicles coming onto the market offering highly advanced electric powertrains than any other time in the world's history," said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, in a statement. "The significant investment by our lead investor Daimler and others not only underscores a collective commitment to e-mobility around the world, but lays the groundwork for Europe's most comprehensive charging network."

ChargePoint, er, points to several different reasons for its decision to make this move. More than a dozen countries in Europe offer incentives for buying electric cars, but it's up to dozens more suppliers, hardware and software providers to create the infrastructure. ChargePoint wants to do it all under one roof, creating a seamless experience across Europe that will only help EV sales further.

The company has certainly left its mark in the US. ChargePoint commands control over some 33,000 charging ports across North America, and it boasts a Rolodex of thousands of companies that utilize its services. It still has competitors here, namely EVgo, but it's grown considerably and wants to bring its efforts over to Europe.

That won't matter too much for North American users -- unless the systems are intertwined and you regularly ship your EV to Europe -- but in the future, it could be beneficial. If the systems work together across the pond, a business traveler might be able to access his or her ChargePoint account while on the road, grabbing juice for a rental EV without having to navigate an entirely new infrastructure.