In July, leading electrical distributor Sonepar attended the launch of the new $30 million ABB E-mobility Center of Excellence in Valdarno, Italy, cementing the collaboration between the two organizations as they continue to work together towards a zero-emission reality.
Sonepar and ABB have been collaborating for many years across various aspects of ABB’s Electrification portfolio. This new initiative focuses on the distribution of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, a fast-growing market, which offers ABB and Sonepar the opportunity to reach new customers around the world.
Indeed, with transportation accounting for up to 29 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, the development and production of smart, reliable charging solutions is set to form a crucial part of the global clean energy transition.
Electric vehicle registrations increased by 41 percent globally in 2020, rising again by around 140 percent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. By 2040, an estimated 290 million additional charging points will be required to support the shift to electric vehicles, amounting to circa $500 billion in global investment.
As an early investor in the EV charging segment, ABB has already sold in excess of 680,000 EV chargers across more than 85 markets. The new 16,000m2 Valdarno plant will facilitate the creation of more than 10,000 additional DC chargers per year, which can be used across all transport sectors, from cars to buses to heavy vehicles.
The collaboration with Sonepar, which has a dense network of 100 brands spanning 40 countries, has put a wide range of ABB AC and DC charging solutions in front of customers in several countries.
Sonepar representative, Lamaro Pareira, Senior Vice President, Sonepar International Services, said: “It’s crucial that the transportation sector moves towards more sustainable solutions if we are to have any hope of achieving a zero-emission future. The only way to keep up with demand for electric vehicles and support their wider adoption is with the rapid expansion of EV charging infrastructure. ABB is the market leader in this area and we are proud to be able to support them in distributing their solutions, which will enable a swift environmental transition towards more efficient electric vehicles.”
Customers that buy through Sonepar’s various channels, which include installers, system integrators and end users, can expect a seamless process, bolstered by training, commercial and technical support from ABB. In the coming years, the group has an ambitious transformation agenda to become the first global B2B electrical distributor to provide a fully digitalized experience to all customers.
Setting a blueprint for customers to follow
The Valdarno factory is just one example of ABB’s dedication to groundbreaking R&D. In the plant’s 3,200m2 development and prototyping space, around 70 of the site’s 500-plus employees are dedicated to implementing innovative solutions, new software and product life cycle management tools to fully integrate R&D activities with manufacturing.
ABB representative, Yannis Fadakis, Group Account Manager for Sonepar, concluded: “The only way to reach a zero-emission reality for transportation is to work together with leading organizations, such as Sonepar, to provide customers with solutions for clean and sustainable mobility. Our collaboration with Sonepar has been extremely successful in other areas of our Electrification business and we’re excited to see what we can achieve through this new initiative.”
 https://theicct.org/transport-could-burn-up-the-eus-entire-carbon-budget/  https://www.iea.org/reports/global-ev-outlook-2021 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/09/heres-how-electric-vehicles-can-keep-us-on-the-road-to-paris/