Charging piles are essential to electric vehicle owners, as it fuels trips in their trendy cars. However, charging piles are short in supply, as EV ownership leaped by 74% in 2020, public charging piles only grew by 35% in the same period. In the future, charging piles are bound to see soaring demand in line with government initiatives to cut carbon emissions.
Countries across Europe are racing to install charging piles. Sweden and the U.K. are offering subsidies as an incentive for charging pile manufacturers to install in designated areas. As of 2020, 22 thousand charging piles are installed in 27 EU member states altogether. European Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA) suggests by 2030, the number of charging piles must come to 3 million in order to catch up with the rising number of electric vehicles.
On the EV supplier trajectory, Taiwan holds a pivotal position. Charging piles manufactured by Taiwan-based companies are eating into the EV market pie. As of March 2021, Delta electronics, as Tesla’s supplier, offered more than 80 thousand charging piles across the world. Global market penetration is estimated to reach 30% in the coming years, settling Taiwan’s name in the competitive ground of EV charger suppliers.
eTreego, a Taiwanese charging solution provider, boasts pioneer charging technology that comes with 10 years of EV control system research in Taiwan’s government-supported research institution - Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). Spun off from ITRI in 2017, eTreego has already managed to secure 60% market penetration, reaping 100 million NTD revenue in 2020.
Setting foot in the Japanese and ASEAN market
For eTreego, success in the Taiwan market meant global expansion should be taken into consideration. As the contending ground of EV is rather heated in Europe , eTreego selected Japan and Southeast Asia as their niche market, also aligning with Taiwan’s Southbound Policy to create business ties with Southeast Asia countries.
Compared with European countries, Japan is a relatively slow adopter of electric vehicles. Fortunately, Japanese automakers are catching up with this global trend. Nissan and Toyota have developed electric vehicles, taking part in the heated emission-free automobile race.
In order to break into the global market, eTreego partnered with system integrators. This strategy is beneficial in that eTreego could save the nuances of business and market culture.
Japan is known for tending to details and manufacturing the most intricate electronics. “The Japanese aren’t just looking for charging piles you could buy on Taobao.com. It is the best product in the industry that they want, which is exactly what eTreego can offer,” said Chin Ping Chien, founder and CEO of eTreego.
Agile ODM business model
Agility is highly valued by eTreego. That means being able to move swiftly and operate profitably in global markets. The EV market is a lucrative business, therefore governments tend to restrict international trade to help domestic industries thrive. For example, some countries restrict import quota, and allots 40% total market share for homegrown companies. This spells trouble for eTreego if they want to import charging piles directly into foreign countries.
Instead of taking the contest head-on, eTreego aims to provide components for customers to assemble and manufacture the charging piles. “These are what we call module-based business models. Our clients can walk away with the whole package of charging piles and put their brand names on them,” said CEO Mr. Chien. 80% of eTreego revenue comes from modularized charging piles.
On the other hand, eTreego also offers customized charging piles, which accounts for 20% of eTreego revenue. Being able to cater to clients’ needs is one key competitive advantage of eTreego. For clients such as Volvo, eTreego offers exterior design as well as other tailored services. “Flexibility is what sets start-ups like eTreego apart from giant companies like Delta Electronics,” said eTreego CEO Mr. Chien.
Pioneering charging tech
eTreego has been poring through efficient charging solutions for 10 years. This means they are first-movers in the industry, giving them an edge over other companies. eTreego’s proprietary dynamic load management (DLM) EV charging received patents in the United States and China, which is a feat as prominent competitors include Toyota as such.
At the heart of EV charging technology is efficiency. Most charging piles on the market are equally distributed with electric flow. The method is immensely inefficient because the electric capacity of each car and pick-up time of each car owner differs.
Consider a building with 10 charging piles in its basement, eTreego’s dynamic load management system (DLM) allots electric flow according to each car’s capacity and its owner’s pick-up time, enabling faster charging, at the same time ensuring electricity capacity to be within safety standards.
Since 2017, eTreego has been supplying prominent partners and gained 60% market penetration in Taiwan. eTreego’s client portfolio is diverse, including automobile manufacturer Volvo, leading hypermarket in Taiwan Carrefour, fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken.
From partnerships with off-line shops, it is clear that eTreego is taking a strategic step to provide shoppers the chance to charge their EVs while dining or shopping. Furthermore, eTreego also provides charging piles to Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the market leader of gas stations. It is a hard fact that people of our times are ushering in a new era, in which charging electric vehicles will be as common as charging smartphones.