We made the Changemakers edition of Reimagine Energy all about exploring the businesses and their leaders who have paved the way for change in the energy sector. In a series of interviews, we spoke to those who are taking risks within traditional industries and who are implementing necessary change for ultimate good.
In this first interview, we speak to Sebastian Bachmann, the CEO of chargeIT mobility.
“E-mobility is one piece of the puzzle and our vision is that we integrate all the pieces.”
Name: Sebastian Bachmann
Position: CEO chargeIT mobility GmbH
Background: German & Swiss Economics
- Built up Swiss offices for US solar manufacturer Nanosolar
- Joined Nanosolar customer Belectric and founded Belectric Drive
- Heads Belectric Drive, renamed as chargeIT
What does the future of e-mobility look like?
“Getting EV batteries integrated with the grid and renewables is vital. It is our vision that all EVs use parking time to connect their batteries to the renewable energy system, and this is something that we need for the energy transition to happen. And this won’t happen on motorways – it will happen in car parks and at home.”
What are the biggest mistakes you’re seeing with companies trying to change their businesses to adapt to disruptive technologies?
“Everyone is discussing high-power charging and the big stations on the motorways, but we have to focus on what Tesla is calling ‘destination charging’, where lots of cost-efficient charging points are connected to the local grid at destinations.”
Issues like EV range and a lack of charging facilities are being resolved quickly but a negative impression remains for many people. What do you think it will take to convince mainstream consumers to switch to e-mobility?
“The price and range must be competitive, but then we also have to offer transparent charging systems. Today, you have at least 30 different EMP clubs which give you access to some but not all charging stations, so we need a transparent network with easily accessible charging. For example, you could introduce technologies like cell phone payment without registration or visibility of the different prices and speeds for charging stations.”
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Kiwigrid and chargeIT – Empowering the end user
Some of chargeIT’s key clients want to offer charge-at-home solutions to their end-users. Using a combination of chargeIT’s charging hardware and Kiwigrid’s home energy management software, chargeIT will soon be offering its key clients charge-at-home capabilities.
This allows the client’s end-users to take advantage of intelligent charging possibilities at home, such as the efficient usage of self-produced solar power, integration with smart homes or purchasing off-peak power.
This comprehensive turnkey solution is not just for B2B markets in the form of charging clusters but also with intelligent B2C home-charging that can be billed over one platform. Aside from securing key business, it works towards integrating all EV batteries with the energy grid.