00:50 GMT08 August 2020
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    Experts say the auto industry, including producers of electric vehicles, will be among the hardest hit by the global economic slowdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, experts say that in the long-term the e-vehicle industry has a brighter future.

    Soros Fund Management is backing Amply Power, an electric-vehicle charging startup, helping it to secure $13.2 million. Other investors include Siemens and existing seed round investors like Congruent Ventures, PeopleFund and Obvious Ventures.

    According to the California-based company’s website, it is the leader in charging services for commercial electric vehicle fleets, providing infrastructure and software while helping fleets transition to electric vehicles. The company said the funding would help it deliver on existing contracts and scale up from pilot-phase contracts with fleets in the single digits to ones that it calls production scale.

    "Coming out of the coronavirus, irrespective of what we’re having in oil pricing, fleet customers will continue to look toward electric mobility as the better option", said Vic Shao, Amply Power’s chief executive officer.

    Shao noted that he expects more commercial vehicles to become electric due to government rules on cleaner energy.

    "Time and again, the major hurdle most electric truck and bus pilots face is the charging infrastructure", said Iti Jain, vice president at Siemens Financial Services. "Amply presents a unique opportunity for us and the industry, to accelerate fleet adoption by removing this needless complexity."

    According to research conducted by BloombergNEF, battery-powered vans could become cheaper in the United States by 2022 and in Europe by 2021.

    startup, COVID-19, electric vehicles, George Soros
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