CARY, N.C. -

Much of the national automotive conversation of late has involved automakers’ plans for electric vehicles, including the advertising lineup in store for Super Bowl LVI.

But two separate announcements coming out of the Raleigh, N.C., area this week exemplify the boots-on-the-ground and diverse array of moving parts involved in making widespread EV adoption a reality.

And whether it's the technology behind charging stations or the car dealers selling and servicing EVs, those things often happen on a state or local level.

During the same month and in the same city where the state's franchise dealer association launched an EV advisory committee and promotional campaign, Vontier — a Raleigh-based global industrial tech company specializing in transportation and mobility — announced Tuesday it has acquired Driivz, which provides EV charging and energy management software.

Driivz, based in Tel Aviv, is a cloud-based subscription software platform that works with electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI) providers. It provides them with operations management, energy optimization, billing and roaming capabilities and driver self-service apps.

Driivz’s customers would include entities involved in EVCI rollout, like utilities, charge point operators, fleets, automakers, e-mobility service provides and oil/gas companies.

“The acquisition of Driivz accelerates our portfolio diversification and e-mobility strategies toward long-term secular growth drivers and positions us well to capitalize on the global EVCI market opportunities,” Vontier president and chief executive officer Mark Morelli said in a news release.

“Driivz provides us with market leading technologies within the highest growth, most profitable network management software market segment. We are excited to offer our customers with best-in-class software that is hardware agnostic and the ability to continue to own the consumer experience.”

Doron Frenkel, who is CEO of Driivz, added: ““We are delighted to become part of the Vontier family of companies. This acquisition will advance our vision and mission to transform the EV charging energy challenge into a solution to a bigger problem – creating a greener world for future generations. Together we can drive broader and deeper impact at a global scale and decarbonize our customers’ energy footprint.”

Moving to the retail side of the market, the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association announced the launch of its “All In For EVs” campaign last week to promote the sale and distribution of electric vehicles throughout the state.

Several North Carolina franchise dealers met with Gov. Roy Cooper and Department of Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette at the governor’s Executive Mansion to discuss plan for how the state can prepare for more vehicles on its roads.

NCADA has formed a statewide advisory group of dealers to around EVs and plug-in hybrids. It has also purchased an all-electric Volkswagen ID4 to promote EVs in the Raleigh area.  The dealer association teamed up with NC Clean Energy Group recently to promote EVs at Carolina Hurricanes hockey games in Raleigh. (Side note: The Hurricanes are owned by Tom Dundon, who made some of his fortune via auto financing and is still involved with finance companies such as Exeter Finance.) 

And their commitment to EVs goes even deeper.

NCADA said in a release that the state’s franchise dealer body have spent millions on facility and infrastructure upgrades in preparation for what they said will be more than 45 new models arriving over the next two years.

“The advisory committee is focusing on efforts that can be undertaken to accelerate the implementation of chargers in and around dealerships as well as working with dealerships to educate salespersons and technicians on the sales and maintenance of EVs,” NCADA said in a news release.

The advisory committee will also launch an extensive training program to help dealers prepare for EV questions from consumers, and aims to partner with industry stakeholders to inform North Carolina consumers on where they can charge EVs and how long it will take.

“North Carolina’s nearly 600 new car and truck dealers stand poised and ready to assist consumers across the state making the shift to electric,” NCADA said. “Local franchised car and truck dealers are and will always be the best source to buy and service your next EV or plug in hybrid.”

Auto Remarketing will have more on these efforts in the upcoming NADA Show edition of the magazine, as North Carolina dealer Mike Alford is set to become the 2022 chair of the National Automobile Dealers Association at the group's convention next month.

Stay tuned to our special feature with NCADA president Bob Glaser in that issue.

NCADA will have a presence at Cherokee Media Group’s upcoming Auto Intel Summit, where electric vehicles will be a major focus.

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