Québec company AddÉnergie, a pioneer in charging solutions for electric vehicles in the North American market, will soon be heading off to Europe and, in the longer term, the Middle East and Africa.
AddÉnergie was born of the vision of Louis Tremblay, its President and Chief Executive Officer. This engineer with the DNA of an entrepreneur, who is passionate about cars, wanted to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. He made that his company’s mission. In his words, “our goal is to make electric vehicle drivers’ lives easier by offering them complete, high-quality charging solutions.”
Founded in 2009, AddÉnergie has been undergoing sustained growth. It is a partner in the Electric Circuit, the largest public charging network in Québec and eastern Ontario. The company also operates FLO, the second-largest network in Canada, which has 12,000 charging stations and 60,000 electric vehicle drivers.
AddÉnergie produced its first public charging station in 2010. In 2013, it became one of the first North American companies to deploy
fast-charging stations. Three years later, it targeted the Canadian and U.S. residential markets, selling almost 7,000 charging stations to date.
Since fall 2017, AddÉnergie has been established in the United States, where it is working to consolidate its presence. “We’re currently concluding agreements with American energy suppliers,” adds Mr. Tremblay. “By March 2019, we expect to sell almost 2,000 stations in that country. We’ll soon be knocking on the door of the European market. After that, we’re looking at expansion into the Middle East and Africa.”
“Scarcely four years elapsed between the sale of our first and thousandth charging stations. In 2017 alone, we sold 4,700!”
More than just charging stations
From the start, AddÉnergie chose to produce solid, durable charging stations. Made of aluminum, they are specifically designed to face up to North America’s harsh climate conditions. But Louis Tremblay was looking ahead. He was already thinking about how the charging needs of thousands of electric vehicles would affect the demands on electricity suppliers. So he created energy management software.
For example, these software applications enable a company that is installing many charging stations for its employees to space out electricity demand so it does not exceed the available capacity. “The first vehicle to arrive charges, then another and another, until the available capacity is reached,” explains Mr. Tremblay. “So our energy management solution allocates the vehicle recharge times over the eight hours when the drivers are at work.” By levelling out demand peaks, AddÉnergie’s solutions also allow owners of charging stations to save on their electricity bills.
An innovative business model
When we talk about innovation, we think mainly of technologies, and the AddÉnergie team is very good at that. But its open, collaborative business model is also highly innovative. “It’s based on vertical integration,” notes Mr. Tremblay. “In this way, we can offer a full charging solution. That’s definitely the element that sets us apart from the competition most.”
Among other things, AddÉnergie offers charging packages for which customers – such as restaurant chains and real estate management companies – pay a monthly fee. The company is also able to manage charging networks for third parties. Its partnership with U.S. company Green Mountain Power (GMP) is a good example. “GMP offers its customers home charging stations and all it has to do is add the monthly fees to their bills. We take care of the rest,” explains Mr. Tremblay. “Plus, GMP benefits from our energy management expertise for all the stations it installs in Vermont.”
In addition, AddÉnergie’s solutions are interconnectable with other suppliers’ equipment, allowing for interoperability with other networks. “That’s what we’ve done with the Electric Circuit and the eCharge Network in Canada,” notes Mr. Tremblay. “We’re getting ready to do the same thing with a major American player.”
Although his company focuses on innovation and technological advances, in Mr. Tremblay’s view, service quality is still the top priority. “We’re probably in the best position to provide this quality since our solutions cover everything, from charging stations to services.”
AddÉnergie, a North American leader in charging solutions for electric vehicles, was founded in 2009. Its head office is located in Québec City and all of its products are assembled in Shawinigan. The company has offices in Ontario, British Columbia, New York and California. It employs approximately 150 people.
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