Finnish charger maker eyeing Biden’s $7.5 billion electric car plan

Kempower Oyj has begun recruiting a sales team with the intention of starting sales in the United States by the end of 2023.

A Finnish manufacturer of high-speed chargers is accelerating its entry into the U.S. market following President Joe Biden’s $7.5 billion pledge to tackle the sparse power grid for electric vehicles. hinder the transition from fossil fuel-powered transport.

Kempower Oyj has begun hiring a sales team with the intention of starting sales in the US by the end of 2023, two years ahead of its original plan, to ensure it gets a lucrative slice of the pie, CEO Tomi Ristimaki said in an interview.

“You have to be in the game now as market share is being allocated in this scheme,” he said. “We have a recruitment plan ready for entry into the US market and the first round of hiring has just begun.”

Kempower makes fast EV chargers that allow multiple vehicles to plug into a single system, unlike many of its rivals with its one-per-vehicle model. That’s especially handy when placing them near other services, such as restaurants and shopping centres, according to the five-year-old company based in the small southern Finnish town of Lahti.

Kempower is now worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.3 billion) after its shares skyrocketed more than 300% following its initial public offering less than a year ago.

The Biden administration’s charging plan is a game changer for Kempower when it decides to target the US as it typically only penetrates markets where electric vehicles are already sold in bulk.

In the United States, electric vehicles have not yet developed without charging infrastructure, largely due to long distances combined with the ubiquity of car transportation. Elsewhere, people are more likely to buy a car in advance, even before widespread charging networks are built, with Norway and the Netherlands being prime examples, the CEO said.

However, the US administration’s plan to ensure half a million chargers are in place nationwide by 2030 could be a turning point for a market that has been lagging behind Europe.

According to Ristimaki, grants from the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program could be the long-term impetus to make the electric vehicle market in the US “bigger than Europe”, currently. is growing faster. Normally don’t like the subsidized market very much, but it’s so big that it really drives the charger infrastructure to grow.”

The executive said Kempower is focusing on the east coast to identify a state that provides top governance, social and environmental services.

It still has various entry options, such as whether it makes sense to set up its own production, use a partnership or an acquisition. Part of the calculation is known as the Buy American rule, which requires money to be spent on American-made products and materials in order to boost industry and domestic labor, even if there is an opinion. about easing those requirements to speed up deployment.

“We are looking at the market right now and what would be the fastest way to get into it,” Ristimaki said.


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