It’s been nearly five years since Easee was founded in Stavanger – and about three and a half years since they started delivering shipping boxes to their customers. Or charging robots, as Izzy calls them.
It has become an indisputable success. In a short time they managed to deliver more than half a million shipping boxes. On November 21, 512,000 devices have been connected to the Easee cloud service. Then all non-connected Easee chargers are not included. With these, the Norwegian company is close to 600,000 installations.
Perhaps it is not hard to imagine that it is easy to sell charging stations in Norway. After all, no one has such a large share of electric vehicles in the passenger car fleet as we do.
Not surprisingly, a large percentage of Easee charging stations are also wall-mounted in Norway. However, the fact is that more than 60 percent of Easee’s shipping crates are exported.
While there are approximately 200,000 Easee boxes in use in Norway, 90,000, 70,000 and 30,000 Easee boxes are in use in Sweden, Germany and Great Britain respectively. In addition, all other markets, including the smallest: the Faroe Islands have two Easee chargers connected to the cloud.
The company was founded by Jonas Helmikstøl, Kjetil Næsje and Steffen Mølgaard. Since its inception in 2018, Helmikstøl and Næsje have found their way at least to Kapital’s list of Norway’s 400 richest people. They have grown from three founders in 2018 to more than 500 employees in eight countries in Europe.
The store is doing well. The annual result was NOK 12 million in 2019 and NOK 500 million in 2021, before tax.
A lot has happened in the electric vehicle market since the beginning in 2018, in addition to the fact that there are more cars.
In Norway, people’s perception of what constitutes safe electric vehicle ownership has changed. While electric vehicle drivers were previously happy to charge with an emergency charger, more people are realizing that this is not suitable as a permanent solution. In a sense, the Easee was aided by regulatory changes that made it illegal to have a jack as a permanent charging port.
But this does not explain everything. After all, there have been many charging options on the market for many years.
I think culture was crucial
Andreas Gottorp, dubbed the Partner Success Leader at the company, believes that culture at Easee is paramount.
In it, he adds that all employees share the same vision and work towards the same goal. He believes that a flat hierarchy where decisions are made in groups provides a strong organization where everyone is seen and heard.
– It is not, of course, a matter of growing as fast as we have. Half a million shipping robots, Gottorp says, is a good indication that we’ve done something right.
Also highlighted was the fact that Easee chose to hit the gas while others hit the brakes during the pandemic. In the middle of 2020, they had about 40 employees, so they have increased more than tenfold to date.
– We found solutions for the company and production. While many were sitting in their home offices, the compound could have run cables abroad in terms of infection control, says Nordic public relations director Kenneth Bjerga.
It shows that the charging robot is designed to be easy to install and deliver. According to Easee, it takes, on average, less time to install their solution than other charging stations.
– When an installer likes to work with a product, it drives additional sales by recommending it to customers, Jotorp says, and adds that they’ve received support from a wide range of installers across Europe.
Shipper prices are going down
The Easee charging station was relatively cheap compared to stations with similar functionality and charging power. Since then, more alternatives have appeared on the market, and charging stations have generally fallen in price. For example, competitor Zaptec, also from Stavanger, offers a functionally similar charging station for a slightly lower recommended price.
Some are much cheaper. Stavanger-based startup Amina offers just such a solution, but the difference is You don’t get a smart charging function built into the station.
Easee’s idea is that the charging station should be an integrated part of the power grid. Since a station supports load balancing, the idea is that a large number of stations together can help reduce the load on the power grid by reducing the impact of charging when the load in the grid is high. This can reduce the need to strengthen local distribution networks.
That 500,000 Chargers is the beginning is not an irony. Think of the next five years and what volumes we can synchronize. It can have a significant impact on society, says Gottorp.
The way forward goes abroad. Eighty percent of all charging stations they sell are sold in Europe, mainly Sweden, Germany and Great Britain.
Easee is now establishing itself in France. In addition, they are looking to enter other countries through a partner model, in order to gain a presence in places where electric vehicles are not currently growing as strongly as elsewhere in Europe. In the long term, they envision looking beyond the borders of Europe.
– There is no doubt that Norway will eventually become our smallest market. But there’s something special about offering a product that’s produced in the Nordic countries, says Bjerga.
Chargers are manufactured in Horten and Hadeland – and in Sweden. It will probably be cheaper to produce in China, but they have no plans to do so.
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