How EnBW and &Charge power sustainable growth

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Utilities provider EnBW partnered with loyalty rewards app &Charge to bring innovative campaigns that promote sustainability via the affiliate channel.

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&Charge is passionate about sustainability. Spotlighted in this year’s Awin Report Power 100, the electric vehicle (EV) loyalty rewards app possesses serious eco credentials – a climate neutral company since its inception whose loyalty program has compensated over 8.8 million kilograms of CO2 since launch.  

The partners it chooses to work with also have strong environmental commitments. EnBW is one such partner. As one of the largest energy companies in Germany and Europe, EnBW supplies some 5.5 million customers with electricity, gas and water as well as energy solutions and energy services. The company holds sustainable rating agency CDP’s top A-rating. And by 2025, half of EnBW’s energy generation is to consist of renewables, with an aim to be completely climate neutral by the end of 2035. 

EnBW also operates the EnBW HyperNet, a network of over 300,000 EV charging points across 16 European countries, accessible via its own EnBW mobility+ app. The energy company’s public charging infrastructure is market-leading in Germany, including the country’s biggest fast charging net. Furthermore, EnBW has been named the best German charge point operator and at the same time has topped best e-mobility provider rankings multiple times in recent years. 

Innovative collaboration puts users at the heart of the strategy 

Despite being a new partnership, the two companies have already collaborated on multiple innovative campaigns that champion sustainable behavior. Their ‘Challenges’ campaign is one great example. &Charge users were encouraged to provide real-time feedback on EnBW’s charging stations in exchange for reward points or ‘kilometers’, as they’re called within the app. The kilometers can then be redeemed as charging credit for users’ electric vehicles across the HyperNetz network. To earn rewards, &Charge users complete challenges directly within the app, acquiring points for each successful one.  

The challenges ranged from surveys rating the functionality and service of individual stations, to flagging issues they experienced. One notable example involved an &Charge user reporting construction equipment that was blocking access to a charging station. The issue was resolved within the same day, as the feedback from the challenge was raised to EnBW’s operations teams by &Charge.

The partnership goes deeper than just providing user rewards. EnBW encouraged &Charge’s users to help shape future e-mobility experiences through opinion polls and test panels as part of its Powerhelden (‘Power Hero’) scheme, an exclusive test user group to collect customer insight. It’s these initiatives that establish strong relationships between providers and the EV community – not simply as supplier and consumer, but as a mutually beneficial partnership that values (and rewards) both parties. 

At its core, the campaign creates a virtuous circle that benefits everyone. On the logistical side, EnBW has essentially crowdsourced the maintenance and improvement of its infrastructure through user feedback. This improves the user experience for the whole community and they are incentivized to continue providing valuable feedback via a combination of gamified challenges and rewarded points to redeem against their EV vehicle.   

Taken together, the strategy has a direct environmental impact – maintaining charging infrastructure for all while reducing the cost of EV ownership through the rewards scheme.  And, at a macro level, the Powerhelden scheme’s feedback loop places the EV community at the heart of the conversation, giving them a platform to genuinely influence the future of e-mobility. 

Growth and positive change through affiliate partnerships 

It's the affiliate partnership, however, that takes these positive impacts even further. Dubbed ‘Earn and Burn’, &Charge users taking out EnBW’s electricity and heating contracts via their link earned 300 ‘kilometers’ or points in the app. Several promotional campaigns boosted this amount, rewarding double points for the duration. The ‘Burn’ element of the partnership encouraged users to exchange these points for credits on EnBW’s own charging infrastructure to charge their EVs. 

Utilizing the affiliate model, the two companies are creating opportunities for more sustainable energy practices. Incentivizing &Charge’s users to earn and spend their points with the same company aims to reduce emissions as much as possible by keeping the whole process within a sustainable ecosystem. With EnBW’s green tariffs, a customer can potentially be powered by 100% renewable energy sources at home and travel emission-free by charging their EVs on EnBW’s nationwide fast charging network.  

The partnership enables customers to reduce emissions from multiple elements of their lifestyle, removing gaps in the energy cycle and shrinking carbon footprints at every possible step. Speaking to &Charge’s co-founder Simon Vogt, it’s exactly these ‘sustainable energy cycles’ the partnership is looking to boost, solidifying EnBW and its charging infrastructure as the brand for e-mobility and sustainability in Germany. 

“I am extremely proud and excited to partner with EnBW as one of the biggest German utility providers and the market leader when it comes to public charging infrastructure in Germany. The sustainable energy cycle makes this partnership unique and is a strong indicator of a more sustainable future.” 

 “Partnering with &Charge feels like a natural link for us”, says Cathrin Lind, vice president operations e-mobility at EnBW. “Thanks to &Charge, we are very closely connected to our customers and thus receive valuable and practicable feedback. This improves our services which all EV drivers benefit from. Plus, the cooperation helps us spread a stronger awareness for sustainability among EV drivers – a crucial principle that guides all our engagement.” 

Results 

Results from the Earn and Burn partnership have been a runaway success. The number of signed energy contracts increased 130% YoY in 2021. Over 100,000 ‘kilometers’ of rewards have been credited to &Charge’s users from the energy contracts alone, translating into six-figure EURs worth of charging credits on the EnBW mobility+ app.  

User engagement with EnBW, across all of its campaigns, ranks among the highest of &Charge’s partners – no doubt a result of their shared commitment to involve and reward customer input throughout the partnership.  

EnBW and &Charge have redefined the possibilities of truly sustainable and ethical partnerships. Their user-driven ‘Challenges’ campaign enlisted the power of community to fix and improve critical EV infrastructure, as well as instigate positive change for e-mobility’s future.  

Their affiliate partnership augments this progressive approach, setting new standards in ethical ecommerce and facilitating transactions that are environmentally responsible every step of the way: from the energy generated by EnBW’s 100% green sources; &Charge’s day zero climate neutrality; and finally the EV users themselves.