Skrivet av Baback Korpy • 29 mars, 2021 09:56
Anders Thingbø (VD) – Zaptec
Anders Thingbø, CEO Zaptec
The “alternative-fuel-boom” is highly pushed by both the governments and the consumers. There are ambitious goals regarding which fuel the cars should be powered by in the next five or ten years – electricity, hydrogen or natural gas?
As the demand for electric vehicle increases, so does the opportunities for companies in ancillary spaces such as charging systems! Zaptec from Norway provides Charging Systems in this fast-evolving industry and in today’s interview we have had the privilege of speaking with CEO, Mr. Anders Thingbø, about the EV-market and how the global goals are reflected in the market today!
Could you please tell us about Zaptecs history – how has your business changed in the recent years?
Anders Thingbø: Zaptec was founded in 2012. The idea was to use electric transformation high voltage technology to drill (”Zap”) and maintain oil & gas drilling wells. Even though the testing in our laboratory was positive and we planned to drill wells on Mars together with NASA we didn´t reach a commercialization phase with this venture. We continued to use the technology to resolve the charging issues with Renault Xoe which was made for a different power system (TN) than we have in Norway.
In 2016, the number of Electric Vehicles in Norway was growing with lot´s of charging issues, especially in multi-family homes. We used our experience to develop unique charging technology were we utilize all the installed power capacity in the building on all three phases in a cloud connected system with advanced algorithms and management systems. Since we solve all charging problems in large buildings, Zaptec Pro charging system is the dominant solution for larger parking facilities in Europe in 2021.
What are your main products and in what way they are advantageous!
Anders Thingbø: We use the term ”Charging System” since the software is an integrated part of our solution. The Zaptec Pro system offer dynamic load- and phase balancing services so that we can offer 3 times more charging points and faster charging than the competition, on the same fuse size.
With a Zaptec Pro system the customer can charge 50 cars on a 63 Amp fuse. It sounds crazy, but since cars are connected 13 hours to the system on average and on a daily basis need about 2,5 hours charging, and each car charge differently, we can solve the complexity with our unique technology.
Some cars charge 1-phase, others charge 3-phase, and the onboard power converter has 3,6 KW capacity on some cars and 11 KW and even higher on other cars (like Tesla). It is crucial for the charging system to understand the different cars and provide power according to the different car ”appetite for power”.
Zaptec delivered 2.540 Pro-installations last year – how many do you expect to deliver this year?
Anders Thingbø: In 2021 we will deliver more than 5.000 Pro installations. When we are referring to ”Pro-installation” we are speaking about the whole parking facility. The number of Zaptec charging stations is a different number.
EU has ambitious goals for a powerful conversion to electric vehicles in the next 5-10 years – how do you think this is reflected in the market today?
Anders Thingbø: In some EU countries the electrification of the transportation sector has come a long way. To succeed, the countries need to change the energy system, add charging infrastructure and have clear government policies.
From our point of view, we see that the European car manufacturers develop efficient electric drivetrains and market orientated EV’s that will change the car market forever. Tesla has done a great job to wake them up!
We look at the UK and Germany as the next two countries in Europe to really increase EV adoption the next 3 years, even though one of these countries is no longer part of the EU.
What are your biggest costs and how do you work to reduce them?
Anders Thingbø: Production cost and salary costs are the biggest costs for Zaptec. The production cost is continuously reduced by our engineers and we will reduce the production cost with 25% with a new technology design on the Pro System in June 2021.
Since we have a very scalable business model, we do not foresee a large increase in number of employees. We will be 50 employees in June 2021 and the increase will be in Sweden, UK, Germany where we set up subsidiaries. By the end of the year, we will be about 60 employees.
How subsidized is the EV market in Norway compared to the rest of Europe?
Anders Thingbø: There is no VAT or taxes when you buy a new EV in Norway. For a combustion engine car, the VAT and taxes constitute 50% of the price of the car. So it is heavily subsidized. In addition to the competitive pricing the EV owner enjoys perks like driving in the taxi lane, subsidized toll fares and low ferry prices. Norway emits a lot of CO2 from producing Oil & Gas and we use some of the revenues from this sector to reduce CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.
What are your biggest challenges?
Anders Thingbø: To handle and fix growth pain points in the daily operation while at the same time develop new market leading technology and user experiences. The daily operation always wins because happy customers and employees is the only way forward to be become the leading home charging player in all of Europe.
That being said, with a competent leadership group and the best employees we manage a balance and in March of 2021 we launch the smallest, fastest and most cost-effective single-family home charger in the world.
What will you focus on during 2021 and 2022?
Anders Thingbø: To keep customers and employees happy. It sounds basic, but it is not! Furthermore, we will build new subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, Denmark and France, and launch charging systems in these countries.
We will also launch semi fast DC charging as a supplement to our AC offering, to provide the market with affordable semi fast charging where the people park their cars for 30 minutes or more. And our strategy on providing payment, load balancing and other services that lower the energy bill for the end users will be significantly developed.
I will not exclude that Zaptec can be an active player in M&A to speed up growth. We have high expectations for profitable organic growth for ourselves and the companies we might integrate will face the same expectations to be with Zaptec going forward.
Many thanks to Mr. Anders Thingbø, CEO Zaptec, for a very interesting interview! Dagens Börs wishes good luck to the Zaptec-team!
Zaptec (diagram: Infront)