Great to chat with Tomi Ristimäki CEO of Kempower! Kempower designs, manufactures and commercializes charging solutions and services for electric vehicles! We discussed the fast-paced evolution of EV charging, electrifying fleets and more!

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James

The unedited podcast transcript is below

James McWalter

Hello today’re speaking with Tomi Ristimaki Ceo of Kempower welcome to podcast tommy brilliant to start. Could you tell us a little bit about chem power.

Tomi Ristimaki

Thank you Thank you? James. The ke power is ah is a finish and so for the ones who don’t know we are in Europe. So so we are finished fast starting manufacturers so we make for electricive vehicle buses work machines, everything that moves actually. Charting solutions.

James McWalter

That very good and when what drove the initial decision to start working at Kem power and what was the kind of early days of kem power like.

Tomi Ristimaki

Early days of campmpo is not so distant past I think the company in this form is found in 2018 but as ah as a history of the company. We belong to a company group which has been doing more than 70 years application with power electronics to welding industry. And this was skippa was found in as a new company in the group to focus in in in the new market and there’s a lot of synerys even people don’t maybe think that that welding and charting is the same thing but that so engineers view it’s it’s quite close. Application is is is there. So I think that that’s the background why it was founded exactly here to this company group.

James McWalter

And so yeah, we’ve actually talked to a few people who have spun out or been founded by you know, large kind of corporations or or company groups. Um, what do you think are the you know I guess the pros and cons of that way of Starting. Ah. Like a business I mean obviously you you definitely have some support in a way that like a typical startup might not have but you also potentially have to kind of deal with ah you know aspects of large company bureaucracy and so on.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yes, exactly ah that that was the reason it was It was like kind of like a clean start that it was powdered as a completely different company so you get kind of the pros and cons of the world so you can use the resources of the big company and the processes working and and basic the it systems and. You don’t have to do everything in the beginning because we were buying buying like the finance services Hr services from the group in the beginning now and now it’s actually independent but it gets gives a good startup point when the company can keep the keep the bureaucracy out of things.

James McWalter

So.

James McWalter

And absolutely.

Tomi Ristimaki

Can take only the good things from the past and um and concentrate on on on making the important things so looking at if you look at the first years I think it was first hundred percent r and d that it was hot under r and d in sales and now when we are looking at 2022 is all the older function are within the company already.

James McWalter

So.

Tomi Ristimaki

But it it gave a good kickstart for the business.

James McWalter

Absolutely and and in those kind of first year or 2 of just kind of pure r and d focus so were there any kind of pivots in terms of the product you know roadmap or the kind of product vision over those few years you know was Ken power going in a certain direction and and changed later or has it been always very focused on the kind of core offering you have today.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, it’s been coreop offering in charting and actually that history also goes back to the company group. There was a project that we have we’ve done actually the first fat. Ah first chart is already in 2012

James McWalter

Yeah.

Tomi Ristimaki

But then the then the company who its actually the family who owns it they decided that there is not enough evs to focus it in this yet. So so part of the let’s say but portfolio ideas come come way before way before the company was founded.

James McWalter

And you know I think looking in 2022 when pretty much all the large auto manufacturers have said they’re moving fully to evs you know over the next decade you know having ev charging station infrastructure seems like ah like a no brainer. But even four years ago that definitely wasn’t the case and so I guess what was the kind of. Like the court insight that made its make sense in 2018 where it didn’t make sense in 2012 um to be so that you’re ready for this kind of inflection point. That’s just occurred in the last like eighteen months

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah I think it’s it was the market studies and looking at the numbers which are the growth figures and and nobody actually believed in those figures at that time and and then what actually happened is a lot faster will open in the market in real life. So that. It has ah surprised me I’ve I’ve been working with demobility for the last ten years and the fast pace what has happened in just the last two years has surprised me a lot.

James McWalter

I’m so and so you know when you were kind of considering this like taking on this this particular kind of you know direction from your kind of previous career. What was like I guess the most exciting aspects about this relative to some of the other opportunities like I’m sure that were available to you.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, it was actually I was I was working I’ve been 20 years in electrification in in overall but the first ten years went in an industrial looking at energy saving in industrial space and and things like that. But then I joined the startup world in 2011 working with power trains for heavy vehicles doing hybrid systems electric systems for trucks processses machinery and that was pretty early that you can call really tri dog to excavate the manufacture in 2011 about doing a hybrid or awful electric system that’s completely different than than doing it today.

James McWalter

Right.

Tomi Ristimaki

So I Got really excited on on the Ev business and and let’s say electrification because I didn’t really mind on cars or evs or trucks as a young. But then I became an electric engineer and then finally when everything turned to electric. It turned my head as Well. And um I can be called maybe Ev enthusiastic and now all the machines are really interesting because it’s actually close to your heart and and what you know.

James McWalter

And threaten.

Tomi Ristimaki

So this is this is is definitely the opportunity to join the charging business was kind of relevant move to even more electric because doing the powerrain business was a lot of hybrids and things still working with diesel engines. This is a lot lot more focused on actually making the world better.

James McWalter

So.

Tomi Ristimaki

But you’re working working in the full electric world.

James McWalter

Absolutely and and so today I guess who is like ah like a you know a core user. What and what does that kind of typical kind of customer profile look like.

Tomi Ristimaki

If you if you look at our our customers who buy our solutions I think the biggest group is transport operators today who are serving then the customers with electricity. But for us, it’s also the public transport operators logutistic companies.

James McWalter

Oh.

Tomi Ristimaki

And if we look at the mining or harbor world. We are selling to the vehicle manufacturers mostly because that mother is even let’s say less advanced yet but like public transportation or or private causes today except the mining and harpers which is fast but let’s say construction vehicles agriculture.

James McWalter

Um, and and so what would like a typical deployment then look like um to kind of get it. You guys set up for a customer for a user.

Tomi Ristimaki

They are still couple of years ago

Tomi Ristimaki

So I think that from our selection point of view that our solution is for larger installations larger charting sites and this is how we actually believe that it will happen as well that that is single.

James McWalter

Ah.

Tomi Ristimaki

Charters is not the way how how when the ebs are becoming in the norm that people actually want to charge their vehicles in a siteway have more connections and also the services around it if we talk about the private car industry. And also if we look at public transportation. Never there never is a single vehicle. There is always a fleet and this is the same also when we look at the electric trucks in the future I think our main core is the logistic centers where you charge the vehicles when you’re ah, loading unloading or or where the vehicle spent the night and and then this is kind of how we see the future is that the charting sites are somehow concentrated and our whole solution is in this this world. How we develop.

James McWalter

That’s so that’s so interesting. Yeah I think you know coming out of the kind of Fossil Fuel petroleum you know based ah transportation. There’s a very specific I guess Pattern for where you would refill right? It’s ah so it’s a well-known. Um.

Tomi Ristimaki

The.

James McWalter

Kind of site selection process to get a gas station to get a petrol station Sighted. You know you need within a certain kind of level of Demographic density. It needs to be at certain types of kind of crossroads and so on um, and then and there are there are kind of various factors. How is that different for Ev charging. Um, you know. You also have these kind of elements in in electricity whereas the the cost of electricity can vary the amount of charge time that that it takes can vary a lot relative to kind of you know gas-powered vehicles and so how do you think about how that site selection for evs is different to Fossil powers.

Tomi Ristimaki

Of course when you talk about private costs which is easier to understand for everybody. It’s it’s then you have the main way of charting is of course where you stop for a long time. It’s home or workplace and and there the equipment is is not our main scope.

James McWalter

Vehicles. Okay.

Tomi Ristimaki

Are considering the high power so in that the selection of crossroads and things like that is quite similar to the federal states when you look at the long distance the routes. But then now what we see even more interesting in there is the shopping centers restaurants where the people stop anyway. And we see that this happening in Scandinavia in first pace that actually the retail chains are taking over part of the charting because they own the sites which are already in good locations where the people stop so that you don’t need to go to the so-called gasase and fueling world. This was also the mistake what I had when I got my first tv that I thought that I need to go somewhere to charts.

James McWalter

You right? because you could basically could be sipping throughout the day or throughout you know any sort of time period. You can get it at night or yeah, very very short bursts can help as well because you’re really just trying to get enough range to get through the job to be done that.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, and I think the sites where you charge the cars will be the places where you get other services so you don’t actually spend extra time for charging because you you need to do anything you need to do shopping. You need to do you need to eat somewhere. You need to stop when you’re driving. So.

James McWalter

Particular day.

Tomi Ristimaki

I think it Also it’s changing the concept for the I think the gas station in the wrong term in the future. So I think it’s like a human service stations where you have other services where the people need to stop anyway and and plan the routes this at least what I have noticed when when changing dbs.

Tomi Ristimaki

Because we don’t have at home. We have 2 2 electric vehicles and even the lawnmower is is electric so there.

James McWalter

Oh ah, lawowers are about as as polluting a yes, even it’s a small engine as it could be so having electric lot more. They very cool and and so does that kind of open up the possibility of like new types of business model then for.

Tomi Ristimaki

Um, yes, then.

James McWalter

Those stations right? If you had some sort of human services. Maybe the energy to to recharge is literally free and you can have all these other services kind of stacked on top of it because you’re getting you know potential revenue from the driver in other ways.

Tomi Ristimaki

And this is how how actually why at least I don’t know what what happens in us. But at least in Europe you see a lot of fast food ch and and and grocery stores investing in charting equipment because that’s kind of. They have already the services or when you have a new charting station and then the services are built around it. So this is kind of a different different way way of how how ah the future moves in that because it’s ah but when you look at the let’s say professional e equipmentp then of course that you have.

James McWalter

So absolutely.

Tomi Ristimaki

Another thing is because time is money if you look at for long distance trucking they will be separate size. There will be huge powers in the future because you need to move it and when you’re doing professional things. It’s not the same as as you can have ah let’s a coffee break or a lunch break in every.

James McWalter

Ah.

Tomi Ristimaki

Every every place but you need to have breaks in those businesses as well. So that’s just planning.

James McWalter

Absolutely and how you know would in your kind of experience across Europe have the the utilities kind of responded to this kind of emergent ev charging again I know in different markets. Semichies are very excited by it. Some are quite kind of scared about it because they might be already at capacity and are worried about. Ah, you know in this increased load at the end of the day when everybody gets home and like plugs in their evs all at once and so how how do you think about that kind of relationship with the the utilities. Those who are you know own the wires for the energy itself and.

Tomi Ristimaki

I think the main grid in most of the countries can handle the extra load but it it’s the let’s say the last end which has a problem I mean the living areas or shopping malls that the axle connection from the main grid to that site is limited. And that needs some investments in the world and then you need some smart charting also for for I think living areas or suburban areas where you might have a lot of cost charging so that remains to be solved in ah in a way that you cannot grow the grids to unlimited possibilities. But it’s also controlled by the price of electricity. So in a way when the charting is actually taking into account the the market price of electricity which in the modern contract can change by hourly. The people will concentrate the charting when the other loads are lower. And of course we are. We are in a country where the problem is not that big in Finland or in Scandinavia which are used to electrical heating in the houses and in Finland everybody has a sa at home which is just using electricity. So if you don’t turn the so on you have electric electric cap to charts your car.

James McWalter

But it’s a big.

Tomi Ristimaki

But immediately if you use those 2 at the same time. The fuse will burn. So of course that’s ah obvious thing but we have it easy in here with but not every place in the world is is the same. So.

James McWalter

Ah, that’s fascinating I’ve had a finished friend say to me they would prefer to lose their car to their saa. Um, and so if that if that’s the tradeoff you people might maintain theira.

Tomi Ristimaki

That is quite true even that that’s not the topic of today but the Finn wouldn’t buy a house without so night would be like buying an apartment without shower or something like this. It’s a just the culture.

James McWalter

absolutely that’s absolutely fascinating um and yes, very very very different to where I grew up in Ireland but ah, you know my my wife is definitely a fan of saunas and so someday maybe maybe we’ll have one um and so ok and so the ah yeah when you I guess. Like in terms of that that kind of like the core technology then but you guys have built. How do you think about how your frast charger kind of compares to others in the market. You know what are the kind of advantages of that kind of r and d effort that you know that was put in and in your early days of developing power.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, it is this basically the system thinking and having a solution that can serve more vehicles with a single many of the competitors are still working with this kind of standalone boxes which can maybe service 1 or 2 cars at the time. And we are all the time thinking that when the ebs are really like the main mainstream way of moving then you need more plugs more systems and how to use the limited power connection to serve as many vehicles as possible. What we call in the camp power the dynamic solution that the the power of the charging point changes based on the remain of the vehicle so that basically all the capacity what you have can be re resolve to the next one when the other one has a pattern getting full. So that’s I think the core of the idea that. How you can use the limits what you have today and and and make the best of it and and be able to connect as many but cars as possible because the the time the most ill-spent time is that when you wait in a car to get your car plugged in.

James McWalter

So right.

Tomi Ristimaki

And not the time that you wait a card to be charged because then something is happening.

James McWalter

So so I guess couple thoughts on that So one I guess question is around it sounds like we’re moving into this very very data. Rich environment right? whereas before any individual driver was a somewhat a bit independent node that might hit into a given gas station fill up and so on.

Tomi Ristimaki

When.

James McWalter

Um, its its ability to communicate with other drivers is basically just captured in the price of oil and yeah and the price of petroleum over a certain amount of time you know taking into account things like supply shocks and so on which we’re going through now but the kind of world. It sounds like you’re describing is you have a ton of. Somewhat connected devices that are trying to communicate with each other tend to communicate with the grid in some way to try to optimize so that you know the end user has the best possible experience right? when they plug in. Um, yeah, their their car has the sufficient charge or their vehicle if it’s heavy. Duty vehicle has efficient charge for when they need it.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, yeah.

James McWalter

So do you think about that kind of data data element and how these different devices should best communicate with each other right.

Tomi Ristimaki

That is a data element and it’s also very important to provide the information to the end users when they are charging that what’s happening and and and that’s ah also where we are I think with our data connection know how we are in a good system because we are providing even. Mini accurate estimation of charting behavior and providing that to people who are charting even if their car doesn’t have apps how to follow it up. Our charters have basically they make a website special website on every charting session and you can take it with you with your mobile phone when you’re going out so when you’re doing other things you have. All the knowledge that you need to know if the chart is happening that your battery is full in 10 minutes or 20 minutes or whatever you have so we believe in in this sharing the information and and and sharing also the information to the users if their car is the limiting factor in charting or is it charter or. Is it the fact that there might be several people charting in the site with that shares the power and and it gets the uncertainty ah away and gets the easiness and and sharing information into into into the users and that’s.

Tomi Ristimaki

What we have found out. It’s the majority of the employees What we have is Ieb drivers and we are kind of making the products for ourselves as well. So what? what we would like to see is is what we have developed to the market.

James McWalter

Yeah, it’s It’s so nice when the user testing can be done with actual you know the team itself right? like often you know people are trying to build products even my own startup that I’m working on like I am not the end user I’ve never had that direct problem and so it does mean you have to do a ton of user testing and like.

Tomi Ristimaki

Are.

James McWalter

Talking to the users constantly. But if you do actually have that lived experience of of the problem. It does make a massive difference.

Tomi Ristimaki

It it makes and I noticed myself I worked with the let’s say electric systems and and hybrid system for vehicles for 10 years and I would have only been an evi driver for 3 years and I learned more about experience on how it feels like to be an ev driver in the last 3 and. And it’s really important to have a r and d and sales group who are who are actually if it drivers they understand it a lot better.

James McWalter

Absolutely and I guess on the ev manufacturing side of things. How are the manufacturers I guess performing from your point of view. Um, as we kind of talked about a little bit earlier. There has been this kind of clear step change in the last two years where the large scale developer like manufacturers of automobiles have committed to yeah electrification. Um, but I guess some of the recent announcements around electrifying you know, very heavy duty ah like utility you know trucks like f 1 truck and so on in the United States seems to be. Kind of purely just trying to electrify an existing body like like ah from a gas power body rather than kind of thinking through from first principles like what does having an electric drive chain mean to the kind of redevelopment of automobiles in the first place. Do you expect to see a lot more kind of of evolution from ev manufacturers.

Tomi Ristimaki

Um, in.

James McWalter

Over the next few years or will we basically have ah the you know the current types of vehicles but just with an ev drive drive chain rather than a gas-powered one and.

Tomi Ristimaki

It’s a quite different I’ve been involved ah in in more and more than 150 different kind of vehicle electrifications in the past before the charging career. So Actually ah how you design The vehicle is different. And I think I’ve never been in a private vehicle I’ve been in more heavier vehicle standards and of course how you make the vehicle if you make it from scratch to Electric. You get a better design and it’s kind of like an intermediate if you just change an electric power into something Because. Ah, how the weight points and and transmission and everything is Done. You can do it a lot more clever if you design everything from scratch as electric and then you can see that development Also that if you look look at the like a Chinese market where they are only developing evs now. And and how the design is done. It’s done based on the requirements of the electrical design and not having the burden of of the past behind you and that’s even more heavier ever. You go. But what? what? I’m also saying that many of the industries are already doing that.

James McWalter

Oh.

Tomi Ristimaki

And probably the private cost has have have the biggest burden because you have like systems and car bodies which have been developed for investment on on making millions of cars and you are kind of you cannot throw that aside. But if you look at heavier vehicles. You have more easier done because your investment has planned anymore anyway, for the hundreds of vehicles. So that volume goes away and then you can develop something new if that makes sense cut.

James McWalter

Yeah, no, no, and absolutely um and it is the ah the B Two B Versus B Two C markets right? like in all industries can vary quite a bit because you do have that kind of personal selection element. You know people have been optimizing just the feel of driving for such a long time that. Ah, you kind of you know, need to respect and and honestly evs are much more enjoyable to drive in general um relative to the status quo.

Tomi Ristimaki

It’s it’s about private costs having the feeling of of using this these are like a consumer items which are based on on performance in a little but little bit. But if you look at pre equipment. They are even more based on the behavior because that’s how you earn money. That that’s the whole business. So in in that way the demands in in there might be even more because some sometimes if you look at. For example, sample the the cheapest evs. The only requirement is that it moves forwards and backwards and and brings you from 1 place to another.

James McWalter

Right.

Tomi Ristimaki

And then the performance vehicle market I think one of the big things happening in the evs you can say anything about Elon Musk I drive tesla so I like that development but what he did to the market is to make the electric cars look sexy and you’ll make a good looking car with the high performance. Because I think the early hybrids in the market they were weak and they didn’t look good and they were made main for fuel fuel cost optimization or something like that and not for the performance and it changed the whole thinking when when you made the evs look cool. And now we have seen what happens when you do that.

James McWalter

Um, yeah, yeah, you know I personally stopped reading his Twitter feed just because it’s it’s too stressful, but he yeah absolutely is kind of singlehandedly or tessla. Singlehandedly you know, pulled forward the market you know five to 10 years.

Tomi Ristimaki

And it changed the image. It’s it’s now I think without that I think you wouldn’t have even some heavy truck Manufacturers wouldn’t move into that because yeah, like it. It was a publicity for the whole industry of of moving.

James McWalter

Yeah.

James McWalter

But and absolutely and I think you can do a kind of straight line from that kind of development on Testa side through the kind of emergence of spacs themselves like even as like ah like a concept and a lot of the funding of you know and not every clean energy sp has obviously gone very very well.

Tomi Ristimaki

Um, and goation.

James McWalter

But some definitely have and have’t enabled you know some pretty cool companies to emerge over the last like 2 to 3 years so yeah yeah,

Tomi Ristimaki

And without somebody doing it first. Ah you, you might not have the situation that thediciable move move further because you need examples in the market.

James McWalter

And what really has done also is like drive fear into the heart of the incumbents of like oh you know like we we are now dealing with a company that has a market cap greater than basically the entire industry right? So onces tesla hit a trillion dollar market cap all the other car manufacturers are like well yeah. Like even though their actual amount of units produced is so much lower than this clearly this is the future clearly this is where the markets think the future is and so they then scrambled in. Ah I think a net positive way to actually respond to that and start producing a ton themselves.

Tomi Ristimaki

It has pros and consoles starting from clean table. So so you you might have other challenges then than than the electric thing but I can also understand the difficulty for traditional manufacturers to move the electrification because it’s you have done.

James McWalter

Ah.

Tomi Ristimaki

Hundred years on something and developed all the or your investment efforts are there and we are talking about the peakest change since the invention of internal compost engine to the cars or gasoline engine first and then the other variations.

James McWalter

But not absolutely and on the kind of policy side. Um, do we have all we need in place for the kind of mass adoption of evs and getting the V infrastructure charting infrastructure in place. Ah you know. The the way I kind of think about policies is a couple different elements. So one. There’s direct encouragement of something but then also there’s direct discouragement right? So maybe permitting is too difficult. Environmental fact you know environmental policy might prevent things like ev charging stations actually getting built in certain areas. Um, so how do you think about the kind of current policy picture in Finland and across Europe and potential areas that it could improve.

Tomi Ristimaki

I think the you especially in the eu there is a lot of legislat and go go going on which actually supports the electrification process and actually make it makes it a must actually from the infrastructure side I myself don’t like subsidies on the on the. My own business that much but I say the subsidies actually and and people getting the evs solves the chicken and the egg situation in a way that if you support the getting of Tvs The infrastructure will follow. Except of course for for not so populated areas and there you need government supports and and things like that. But that’s kind of the way it is but somehow somehow the heavily subsidized market also becomes weird. So that that’s from the business point of view. That’s that’s not the favorite place i’ would like to have at least the charting infrastructure. So um, coming from the market demand and it’s the way because we believe that we have the best system and that helps to win with the best system but in subsidized market you get some kind of a consultant making a specification says that the. Charles days might be like this and when you are providing then something better. It doesn’t fit to the spec that some guy wrote and that is giving a a live weird. Let’s say behaviors in in a subsidized market.

James McWalter

Yeah, it’s it’s I think the way I kind of think about it is there’s these kind of 2 kind of curves that kind of cross at some point and so there’s definitely like a role for government and policy to enable certain completely brand new greenfield markets to emerge out of r and d labs and so on um, but then. As the cost curve for that technology comes down which we’ve seen from Lithian I on batteries right in particular like that that incredible kind of decrease in cost curve now. It’s so cheap, relatively speaking and continue to get cheaper. Although of course there are supply and jaing issues and you know nothing is completely easy. But um, the governments then.

Tomi Ristimaki

Um, name.

James McWalter

Really their biggest role is really then to get out of the way. Um and kind of remove like restrictions because the technology itself is not cheap enough that that yeah the market can can respond in a very dynamic way and picking winners and loses it at that point fails and so it is this kind of interesting you know, kind of Conundrum you know I’ve looked at.

Tomi Ristimaki

You.

James McWalter

Different government programs in the United States so this organization organization rpe which does funding of like large scale kind of our you know r and d type type work for anything to do with clean energy or not just clean energy anything to do energy but a lot of clean energy components of it today and some of the ah. Like grants that they’ve made some are completely frontier technology and I’m like yes there should definitely be grants for those but some of them are things like ev charging infrastructure I’m like well I think it’s a well yeah, it’s a reasonably well solved problem right now. It’s all about distribution and business model rather than the underlying r and d and so yeah I guess how do you kind of think about that balance.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah I think in know overall overall the I want think Glory a little bit different direction and question I’m I’m thinking about a louder on the charging infrastructure and and and how the evies become become the norm and nor in the industry and basically.

James McWalter

Please.

Tomi Ristimaki

If you look at the government funds going in there. You you help the first stage get the the fear out of people that they can actually buy it and maybe that’s that’s a good way. But after that. Comes to second way with which will be large need for the infrastructure because when the people actually get get the evs and everybody notices that you have too little amount of infrastructure and um, um, it’s it. It’s what what’s happening I think the future lab of evs which is called Norway. And you thought that you made a lot of investment in the recent years but now that people have actually a high number of evs. The investments are growing a lot and also the payback time is getting very short because the amount of charting people are doing is is so high.

James McWalter

Bret.

Tomi Ristimaki

Ah, you might have even less than 2 year payback times for the investment which is normally pretty good if you look at the infrastructure and and and it’s changing the way and I think a lot of the countries who are now thinking that they they are doing a big investment in charting infrastructure. It’s way too little for the real.

James McWalter

5 but.

Tomi Ristimaki

Need in the future years.

James McWalter

Yeah, you know you’re seeing like single digit billions. Um, across like you know large countries like the United States and go 7000000000 in the most recently passed bill for ev charging infrastructure and at 1% of vehicles in the road in the us are ev’s um I believe what. in in Norway it’s it’s kind of approaching 15 to 20% now but particularly well all new vehicles like the numbers of course like way higher. Um, but we do have to kind of move through the existing stock.

Tomi Ristimaki

The the total stock of course is lower. But I think in Norway I think they’re closing up the new cars. It’s it’s more than 60% is is either either plugin hybrid or or electric.

James McWalter

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and how do you? what? I I Guess with all these you know we’re kind of talking about the kind of broader context you know within that. What are the kind of next you know 1 to 2 year Milestones that Ke power hopes to achieve.

Tomi Ristimaki

I Think it’s It’s so of course we would like to be the prepared solution for easy charting all around the world. That’s not the mild goal but that that that’s a goal. Ah and we are hoping of course to see it is also in the in the background is is is.

James McWalter

Sure.

Tomi Ristimaki

I’ve been working with clean tech all my life and it feels good to come to work and to to working in this kind of solution of course the massuptional evs I Truly believe that it actually helps the environment helps the world.

James McWalter

Up. So.

Tomi Ristimaki

And I think it’s a high value I think we also see now employees that there’s a lot of Ev drivers where I think we have also a high rumper of solar panel owners and things it actually affects the other things What you do when you’re thinking goes goes that way that you are you are starting to think about the environment and talking about. Feeling good about doing things that that improve things.

James McWalter

Yeah, not so and and that the kind of number of people who are starting to work in this space and then who are you know coming up with their own kind of innovative ideas and maybe within the companies are working at or maybe they spin off and start their own things. Ah. That Yeah, absolutely incredibly bit exciting and honestly it’s the basis of the startup of this podcast is like talking to people who are kind of on on those kind of different types of Journeys Where would you let you know if there was a couple of smart people ah kind of listening to this podcast interested in starting something in in this space. Are the kind of big gaps where there’s not enough innovation where some cool companies could be potentially formed to kind of focus and solve some interesting problems.

Tomi Ristimaki

I Think it’s also I think ah, all around the space at the moment because I think there is more demand and than Supply. So So there’s a lot of space to to be around. But I think the universal payment solution things and making that easier has has a space. But also also making let’s say a I think the general laziness of of humans in nature is is giving a lot of opportunities people in in a way that if you make things Easy. You have a way to succeed in in the world.

James McWalter

And.

James McWalter

And so when you say the universal pay. Are you talking about like like Cross network for charging infrastructure or kind of more generally.

Tomi Ristimaki

Cross network of starting in from ah structures. But also the the way how the vehicles work today and and how how how generally everything works is is I think the best inventions in the world ah is done because people are lazy and they want to make things easier.

James McWalter

Earth.

Tomi Ristimaki

That’s the first thing what comes to mind when when you if you make things easier then you have a possibility to succeed and our goal is also to make the charting experience easier than refueling so that was the winning idea in the beginning. How how how can you make that easier.

James McWalter

Right? right? Yeah I guess it’s you know and it kind of goes back to deity part of the conversation about you know once you start experiencing driving evs yourself or experiencing a specific new type of way of being you start to see the problems around that and one of the things I say to a lot of people are interested in starting companies is like. Just start jotting down every annoying thing that happens over the next week like every time you see something that’s like you know, delayed you or was slightly annoying or whatever it may be just jot it down and all of a sudden that’s your list of company ideas and because of kind of the nature of the world today. So many of them have a clean tech or climate kind of relationship. Ah, to start something in and.

Tomi Ristimaki

But actually the driving of Tv is already so much more comfortable than using a combustion engine car that there is no way of going back I always say that but it’s not enough to test for one week because you get this annoying things which are not actually annoying after few months of using. So I think the the general test drive is not the good way I think it’s just jumping in and and and going into the into the solution and there is no way back if if you are if you are doing maybe some individual will will go back. But that’s that’s say I think the this justifies the rule.

James McWalter

So no yeah I fully fully agree absolutely and I guess for you you know personally you know you’ve been kind of you’ve been Ceo of the company for for a little you know for a few years now um what’s most surprised you? um.

35:27.74

James McWalter

As you’ve kind of built out the company you know from kind of your position.

Tomi Ristimaki

I think from the point of view is the last two years and the market growth we are still growing 3 digit growth and and we are still talking about last year the revenues for twenty seven million Euros and you are not supposed to do 3 really digit growth at that level anymore.

Tomi Ristimaki

So it is what has surprised me a lot is the adaption of the ev and and and how the market is growing. It’s I would have suggested like I said it shouldn’t surprise me working 10 years in theopulate. But the last two years have really surprised me on on on what’s happening. And even in Finland I think the general but public was so much against on evs and now the now you see normal people buying evs which is a big big change. They not not only your engineer friend who is just enthusiastic about technology I would like to have a new toy. It’s it’s normal people who are who are moving.

James McWalter

Sure or no.

Tomi Ristimaki

And then there’s a lot of things which is of course the increasing fuel prices and things like that is changing changing the attibus.

James McWalter

Yeah, and ah, you know we’re we’re also seeing some of these kind of supply shocks around what’s happening in you know in Eastern Europe and so on and the the kind of large effect that has on energy prices on you know oil the barrel of oil. Um, we’re seeing queues at gas stations at least in the United States that we haven’t seen in a very very long time and all those things like feed into this idea of if I have an electric vehicle that I can plug in in all these different ways I have more general security if I have solar panels on my roof I start to have my own kind of personal ability to have resilience. Not just as a. Private citizen. But also yeah, commercial and industrial applications and and starting to kind of give people a lot more flexibility and resilience around like their own energy needs to transportation.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, and it’s it’s now having options also to choose from if we look at let’s say 7 years back the only option was nicent lee for tesla more or less that there. There’s a lot a lot of between and it’s how how the carif effects are bringing the new models it. It’s it’s there’s something for everyone.

James McWalter

Right.

Tomi Ristimaki

Not yet boy if we want to pull a horse trailer for several hundreds of kilometers so or Caravan or something like that and and that that might be a niche market where you have yeah we have diesel cars and things like that in the future as well because that’s difficult to achieve with the current current.

James McWalter

Sure yes.

James McWalter

Yeah, but to your point a lot of those kind of use cases I think are sometimes they’re kind of overstated um by like you know people generally talking about the market or people just even talking about their own lives like people all often like overd index on the you know 1 in 2 year events rather than like how they actually live every day and I think that’s.

Tomi Ristimaki

Ah, think solosis.

Tomi Ristimaki

Million.

James McWalter

Ah,, there’s I guess some you know that that falls on the people building the solutions right? to better communicate like and better understand you know the the emotional need to have that backup and ability to you know to toe of to toe enough that maybe the person actually has never towed before but they. Feel the need to have that option even if it’s like not super relevant right? yeah.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah, and and and in Finland it means going to lapland without toilet break with a trade and and has to try run thousand five hundred kilometers without any charging or that’s kind of like ah abnormal needs or. You wouldn’t do that. We even we weren a gaszzling car but that’s what you want before you can change kind of thinking that’s at least what you can read from ah any newspaper article written positively on the ev is the first comments on the comment section will be like that.

James McWalter

Yeah, how how do we get to lab land. Yes, that’s that’s fascinating.

Tomi Ristimaki

Ah, next comment will be about the children of Congo and then about coal power as so i.

James McWalter

Right? Ah, yeah, it’s always the same 3 and I’ve I’ve seen something very very similar when I’m Fred read those comments as well. Ah.

Tomi Ristimaki

And every Ed driver must know where the electricity is produced and what’s used for that that that’s a general requirement from from the people commenting. So do you really know where your electricity is made. Okay, yeah, would you know where your gasoline is coming from so it’s.

James McWalter

It’s it’s it’s ever coming from somewhere worse by definition push. Ah yes I I think you know a lot of those are to be honest, like I think sometimes fake comments. Um, like I mean again, there there are the way think about it like there are completely legitimate. Reasons for concern around an individual you know, range anxiety like maybe going to La Plan doesn’t make sense but you know if they have ah parents that they want you know grandparents to to see their children and that’s like an extra few hours away. Yeah and those are definitely kind of understandable use cases. Um that that we have to kind of you know, respect. But I agree like there’s a lot of these kind of random statements that are very very consistent and seem to be coming out of you know often kind of Troll farms that that kind of thing. So.

Tomi Ristimaki

And and it’s not always troll farm ja individual with a lot of voice and and lot of opinions. But it’s it’s something is not real. Something is real but it’s also the general. Um, let’s say resistance against change and this is a big change and it’s a change of thinking. Ev behaves in a different way and and you need to think you’re traveling in a different way. it’s it’s it’s actually not so stressful. It’s a way of thinking and looking at range anxiety. It’s a very normal discussion in the areas we don’t have a lot of ebs. You don’t see that anymore happening in Norway.

James McWalter

Right? yeah.

Tomi Ristimaki

But there’s a lot of discussion on charging queues and the problems with charging queues that you have to wait 2 hours to get your car to charged and that’s actually how it changes and that’s also where our our sal solution kind of addresses it that you have to have the places to block the car so that. You are not waiting in the car to get get to the get to the larger. Yeah.

James McWalter

That’s your opportunity. Absolutely tommy. It’s been great. Really enjoy the conversation before we finish off is there anything I should have asked you about but did not.

Tomi Ristimaki

Yeah I don’t think so I think you ask a lot and I could talk forever. So so I think we are not jeopardizing your time time here. Yeah, thank you.

James McWalter

No, where is it all well to I mean thank you so much is is great chatting 

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