By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, June 28 (Reuters) - Silicon Valley-based ChargePoint, one of the world's largest operators of charging stations for electric vehicles, said it had teamed up with local German utility MVV Energie to further expand in Europe's largest economy.
ChargePoint will sell its charging equipment via MVV's sales channels, while MVV, headquartered in the German city of Mannheim, will focus on embedding electric charging in its energy services.
The deal with MVV follows a cooperation with French leasing and fleet management group ALD SA last month and an agreement to equip retailers of shareholder Daimler with slow and fast chargers in late 2018.
The partnership aims to make it easier for electric car owners to charge at home while utility clients will be able to control and organise their power demand and electric vehicle charging needs in one place.
ChargePoint plans to run 2.5 million charging spots globally by 2025, with half of those to be located in the crowded European market, where the group has been trying in recent years to build a bridgehead.
A good deal of the ports planned in Europe will be located in Germany and Britain, the continent's two largest car markets, ChargePoint said.
Germany has been slow to embrace electric charging infrastructure, with smaller neighbour the Netherlands having a bigger network of charging spots, according to figures from the International Energy Agency.
(For an interactive version of the graphic click https://tmsnrt.rs/2YowKGo?eikon=True)
The agreement with MVV will target corporate clients, existing car fleets and retail customers across Germany, where some of ChargePoint's key shareholders - Daimler, BMW and Siemens - are based.
ChargePoint did not disclose financial details.
The group currently has a network of more than 67,000 commercial charging ports, of which 95 percent are located in North America. Including home chargers, that number stands at more than 97,000.
Two years ago, the company raised funds to enter the crowded European market, where numerous players, including oil majors, carmakers and utilities, are fighting to dominate local electric vehicle infrastructure.
Since then, ChargePoint - which has raised more than $500 million since it was founded in 2007 - has hired 65 staff across the continent.
Large rivals include NewMotion and Greenlots, both owned by Shell; EVBox, which is owned by French utility Engie ; Innogy; Tesla; and Chargemaster, which was bought by BP.
(Editing by Douglas Busvine, editing by Louise Heavens)