Technology for a better world. Czech company EV Expert develops electromobility products that excel due to their durability
Daniel Václavek, an electrical engineer from Olomouc, always wanted to have his own company. He is interested in electromobility and is aware of how internal-combustion engines inefficiently consume non-renewable resources. Three years ago, he therefore established EV Expert, which develops and manufactures its own charging stations and other accessories for electric vehicles. Participation in CzechInvest’s CzechStarter programme helped the company to reach the level of global players.
It is expected that the use of internal-combustion engines will decline in the automotive industry as electric vehicles gain prominence. Electric-vehicle sales have been rising in the past few years – in December 2020, a record 1,522 new electric passenger cars were registered in the Czech Republic. Whereas electric vehicles accounted for only 0.5% of new passenger-car sales in December 2019, that figure rose to nearly 7.5% a year later. A similar trend was prevalent in the European Union as a whole, where the share of electric-vehicle registrations grew from 3% in 2019 to 10.5% in 2020.
Interest in electric vehicles is rising not only because they do not produce any direct emissions and thus contribute to cleaner air, but also because they are less expensive than conventional cars in terms of operation and maintenance. Centralised generation of electricity is also significantly more efficient.
EV Expert’s main products are EVECUBE charging stations for electric cars and related information technologies for controlling them. The low-cost stations contain smart and safety features, such as Wi-Fi, hotspot capability and support for the 4G network. The charging stations monitor important information on charging status, such as output, temperature and voltage, and suspend charging if the maximum safe values are exceeded. More advanced stations are equipped with a web application via which the user can manage charging output and purchase a module that controls it automatically. In addition to that, the highest-level versions have access to a payment gateway.
EV Expert’s charging stations can be placed virtually anywhere, e.g. in a house, hotel or shopping centre. In addition to charging stations, EV Expert also offers charging cables, mobile chargers and other accessories for electric vehicles, such as charging connectors and sockets. Thanks to this, the company has a comprehensive product portfolio.
Durability, simplicity and safety
Since its establishment, EV Expert has been striving to operate throughout Europe, even though doing so is more complicated and expensive in some countries. “With our main product, charging stations, we are finding success in neighbouring Slovakia. It’s more difficult in the west, where people first want to talk with someone before having anything installed in their house,” says Daniel Václavek, founder of the start-up EV Expert.
Compared to the competition, which manufactures charging-station bodies predominantly from plastic, EV Expert makes products that excel due to their durability, simplicity and safety. "We have reliable access to one of the highest-grade materials on the market, namely brushed stainless steel, which will last several decades. Our stations are the smallest in terms of the given parameters and easily blend in with their surroundings. We don’t want them to be too disruptive of the public space. In addition to that, we are able to tailor the product to each customer,” Václavek explains, adding: “We basically started from scratch and were able to reach the level of global players in the area of electromobility. However, we still want most of the components of EV Expert’s products to be developed and manufactured right here in the Czech Republic. Our current goal is to simplify payments for energy to the maximum extent possible and we also want our products to be affordable.”
“We entered the CzechStarter programme as such a classic startup punk. However, our participation in it helped us find out what we really wanted and how to achieve it.” (Daniel Václavek, founder of the startup EV Expert)
EV Expert and CzechInvest
In 2018, roughly a year after EV Expert was established, Daniel Václavek decided that he needed to take a more professional approach to doing business, raise awareness among customers and increase sales. In order to do that, he needed expert advice in areas such as law and business development. He therefore turned to CzechInvest and began using the services of the agency’s CzechStarter programme.
Over the course of seven months, Václavek worked with mentors with whom he had been put in contact by CzechInvest. Together, they analysed the electromobility market, discussed the use of human resources, including costs and benefits, and other areas that would help him to improve the company’s processes and marketing strategy. “The result was the hiring of a new colleague, which for me was an indisputable benefit of the programme. We also adhered to an updated financial plan, which enable us to get a bank loan,” says Václavek. The company has grown significantly since then.
Václavek also used the possibility of consulting provided by the law firm JŠK Law, which helped him adjust the company’s general terms and conditions so that they were in accordance with legal regulations pursuant to the legislation in force. In addition to that, he learned how to effectively present the company and his ideas and plans. Václavek also considers networking to be greatly beneficial. “We attended several CzechInvest events, where we talked with other startups, which shared a lot of their experience with us. We also expanded our network of contacts, especially business contacts,” says Václavek, adding: “We entered the CzechStarter programme as such a classic startup punk. However, our participation in it helped us find out what we really wanted and how to achieve it. We managed to grow according to the set goals and the mentors taught us how to better use numbers and facts. We are striving to bring more order and fewer feelings into our activities. That’s just the key; everything else comes from hard work.”
EV Expert has already become an advanced young company whose annual turnover is in the lower tens of millions of korunas. Its charging stations can be found in more than ten countries, such as Germany, France and Austria. EV expert has dozens of products in its portfolio and is constantly adding more.