Apr 27, 2023

Company / Press Release

Exploring synergies between hardware and software for EV charging infrastructure

Panasonic Invests in Ubiden, an EV Charging Service Startup, through Panasonic Kurashi Visionary Fund

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masahiro Shinada; hereinafter referred to as Panasonic) today announced that it has decided to invest in Ubiden, Inc. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative: Norio Yamaguchi; hereinafter referred to as Ubiden), a company that provides charging services for electric vehicles, through a corporate venture capital fund, commonly known as the Panasonic Kurashi Visionary Fund, jointly managed by Panasonic and SBI Investment Co., Ltd.

The number of standard chargers* installed in Japan is expected to increase to 77,000 by 2035, about three times the total installed in 2021. However, the lack of EV charging facilities is still cited as one of the reasons for the slower adoption of EVs in Japan than in other countries.

Ubiden operates an electric vehicle charging service called WeCharge, which allows customers to use a smartphone app to pay for electricity used at dedicated EV charging outlets based on the amount of electricity used, rather than the time spent charging. It also provides a user-friendly UX (user experience) that enables easy payment between EV users and charger owners, giving the company an advantage in charging service operation at residential complexes, commercial facilities and other locations where multiple EV owners use the service.

Panasonic provides ELSEEV electric vehicle (EV and PHEV) charging equipment and outdoor EV charging outlets, which are already in use by Ubiden. Through this investment, Panasonic, in conjunction with Ubiden's outstanding software (for system control, platform operation, and other purposes), will explore the potential for installation of EV charging facilities to be expanded to condominiums and other residential complexes, which has up to now been difficult to achieve for both physical and operational reasons. The company aims to develop an optimal charging infrastructure that will support the uptake of EVs in Japan.

With a mission to contribute to the wellbeing of people, society and the planet, Panasonic aims to be the best partner of people's life with human centric technology and innovation. The company will continue to strengthen its open innovation initiatives based on strong partnerships by investing in promising startups both in Japan and overseas that are competitive in areas that are closely related to people's lives, such as energy, food infrastructure, spatial infrastructure, and lifestyle.


*Standard charger: A type of charger that supplies single-phase AC voltage (100 V or 200 V) directly to a vehicle. Compact and installable in typical single-family homes, condominiums, commercial buildings, outdoor parking lots, and other locations.

■Comments from Kunio Gohara, General Manager of the Corporate Venture Capital Office, Panasonic Corporation

We are pleased to contribute to the expansion of EV charging infrastructures in residential complexes, in which demand for EV charger installations is expected to grow rapidly, through our investment in Ubiden, a competitive player in EV charging services with its WeCharge service, which has a first-rate billing system. We anticipate that Ubiden's services and our EV charging equipment and solutions will create synergies and expand open innovation that will accelerate the enlargement of the EV charging infrastructure.

■Comments from Norio Yamaguchi, CEO of Ubiden, Inc.

We are in the midst of an EV transition. Few people currently own EVs, but we are realizing the potential for very rapid EV adoption. For Ubiden, as an operator of EV charging infrastructure services, co-creation using high quality battery chargers and electrical equipment is essential to provide our customers with safe and reliable services.
We are very honored to be funded by Panasonic, a manufacturer of the world's best products, and to have the opportunity to work together on EV charging services. Through our WeCharge EV charging service, we will continue to develop our business as part of the foundation of this future industry that will contribute to a better society.

■Ubiden, Inc. overview

Company name

Ubiden, Inc.


Norio Yamaguchi


4th floor Bizflex Azabu-juban, 1-1-14 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo


April 19, 2019


Management and operation of the WeCharge EV charging service


https://www.wecharge.com/ (Japanese only)

About Panasonic Corporation

Panasonic Corporation offers products and services for a variety of living environments, ranging from homes to stores to offices and cities. There are five businesses at the core of Panasonic Corporation: Living Appliances and Solutions Company, Heating & Ventilation A/C Company, Cold Chain Solutions Company, Electric Works Company and China and Northeast Asia Company. The operating company reported consolidated net sales of 3,647.6 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2022. Panasonic Corporation is committed to fulfilling the mission of Life Tech & Ideas: For the wellbeing of people, society and the planet, and embraces the vision of becoming the best partner of your life with human-centric technology and innovation. Learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global/about/

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