Uze and delaware charge ahead to secure the future of electric driving

Jul 11, 2022
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What if you could order your electric car to be charged in the same way you order a pizza? That’s exactly what Antwerp-based start-up Uze wants to achieve with its mobile charging station. To make their vision of ‘charging as a service’ a reality, founders Kris Verdonck and Dieter Schotte have teamed up with ventures by delaware for funding and hands-on support.

Easing the e-burden

Electric driving might be inevitable in the long run, but to call the transition ‘bumpy’ would be an understatement. “Today, having an electric car comes with its own worries,” says Dieter. “Especially when you live in the city center. First, you need to find an available charging pole. When finished, you have to move your car again and find a new parking spot. For many people living in urban centers, that hassle is enough reason to stick with fossil fuels.”

Dieter and Kris – who have extensive backgrounds in both product and business development – found a way to ease that burden. Kris: “Instead of having to look for a charging pole, why not let the charging pole come to you? Our mobile ‘charging station’, a cargo bike equipped with highly-advanced batteries, can charge the average e-car in 30 minutes. You’ll just place an order via the mobile app, and our operators take care of it. You won’t even have to be there.” 

A dream in development

Their idea immediately gained a lot of traction. “So far, we’ve received support from several accelerators, including Start it @KBC, Pitchdrive and imec.istart,” Kris continues. “Via imec, we got in touch with ventures by delaware. Apart from funding, delaware will play a key role in setting up our back-office software, apps, and necessary integrations with other platforms.” 

Rens Bonnez, delaware’s project manager for Uze, explains: “First, we’ll focus on real-world testing to learn more about the optimal way to organize ‘charging as a service’: How many charges can we offer per day? What feedback do we get from customers? What should our mobile app look like? Etc. Then, we’ll use those insights to digitize and automate operations and provide the necessary tooling for end-users, operators, and back-office workers.” 

Mutual impact

For delaware, Uze represents a great opportunity to participate in the future of mobility. “The company’s vision ties in perfectly with delaware’s purpose: ‘to positively impact the world we live in’,” says Steven Lenaerts, partner at delaware and board member at Uze. “Moreover, we have vast experience in the automotive industry and already provided solutions for fixed electric charging solutions. Next to that, bridging the gap between IT (digital) and OT (physical) is something we encounter more and more when offering Industry 4.0 solutions for our customers. Using that expertise, we’re convinced that Uze will deliver significant value to its users, while bringing us closer to sustainable mobility.”

Kris and Dieter match Steven’s enthusiasm: “Having the support from a company with the size, scope and expertise of delaware is a major advantage for us. Not only in terms of funding and software development, but also when it comes to making the right business decisions and finding the right people at the right time. Moreover, delaware’s culture and their lean yet methodological approach fits in perfectly with our own company culture.” 

From B2B to B2C, and beyond

In the short term, Uze will focus mainly on further developing its services for car sharing companies. Kris: “The insights and experience we’ll gather there will allow us to further finetune our operations to eventually make the leap towards B2C. In the longer term, we’re also looking for expansion to urban centers abroad, like Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm… Those are certainly places that are ripe for our ‘charging as a service’ model.”

Learn more about Uze or explore how ventures by delaware can help to make your idea come to life.

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