CoWatt – a multi brand charging service for commercial vehicles

If you want your customers to buy electric trucks, you need to ensure that they can charge them without hassle. Marcus Anemo, Senior Innovation Manager at Volvo Group Connected Solutions, shares the insight the team have gained when running the CoWatt project, a servitization reference case of a multi brand charging service for commercial vehicles focusing hassle free charging.
CoWatt – a multi brand charging service for commercial vehicles

CoWatt started in 2019 with the vision to incubate and accelerate multi brand charging infrastructure services. “We saw the customer needs and wanted to provide them with a total offer, Marcus Anemo explains. “We also saw a possibility of a new business, offering charging infrastructure solutions and services to our customers.”

New services
The new services created in the CoWatt project were developed in collaboration with Volvo Trucks customers. It gives the customer the possibility to invest and operate in charging infrastructure, connect it to the Volvo network and sell charging to other Volvo customers as well as to access and pay for charging at other public chargers in the network. Another innovative service is a customer interface where you can find chargers that you can book in advance. “You can be sure that the charger is available when you arrive. And no cards should be needed, just plug in and charge. The booking service is a pioneering service that we haven’t yet seen on the passenger car side”, Marcus says.

Besides the digital services in the project another important focus has been on keeping together the customer delivery on the charger hardware installation and operation side as well. It has been challenging but has enabled a very detailed level understanding of the challenge for customers needing to build charging infrastructure and source a complete turnkey solution and the possibility for Volvo to utilize and build capabilities to offer this for customers. ”This project has truly brought light on all the topics that need to be addressed in order to establish a public charging service for our customers. This is a steppingstone that will shape our offer and provide critical input to our roadmap for the charging domain. Leveraging the excellent work in the pilot we are now kickstarting the development of the most critical charging services and the establishment of appropriate partnerships.” says Henrik Engdahl, Director Customer Projects at Volvo Trucks.

Pilot Mode
The CoWatt project is in pilot mode at present and has sites already in operation, both at Truck Centers and at customers. “We are responsible for operating the chargers, taking care of service and maintenance and the connectivity parts. Through hands-on installation and scaling we have gained a lot of experience preparing us for the next step. We have signed 8 pilot customers - customers that use our services to find, book and pay for charging”, Marcus says. “And it’s growing!”

Throughout the project and during interactions with customers the team has learnt a lot about the operational model, the organization required and customer needs for services and solutions. “We are exploring new possibilities for services on top of what we already have built. One example is the Smart Charging service which enables the customer to optimize the charging based on energy cost when charging privately, and we have further opportunities to explore and test with customers.”

Next step
The project is now expanding with more Truck Centers. “We have built the solution to scale and have started dialogues with charge point operators who have plans to build infrastructure charging for trucks. We want to get their chargers in to the Volvo network to increase customer value. And with a request from Volvo Trucks to commercialize we are ready to move from pilot to industrialization.”


Key success factors

Way of working
DIA model. Discover – Incubate – Accelerate
Cross-functional core team
Working closely with colleagues with key competence within the Volvo Group as well as customers and technology partner. Having a joint vision and dedicated team.
The right technology partner
A partner with a viable and innovative solution in the market enables us to work with speed
Customer co-creation
From the beginning, identifying pains, jobs to be done and the needs and designing the solution based on that in an iterative approach.
Scalable solution
Leverage of internal capabilities in the Volvo Group.
When it’s been a bumpy road a persevering team is everything.


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