Making electric vehicle charging simple for everyone


With the growth in the number of electric vehicles, the need for destination charging rather than fast charging is increasing.


Security, availability, and user-friendliness are the pillars for the Nordic region's largest charging operator, Wattif. The company's vision is to make electric vehicle charging accessible to everyone. This also requires that the solutions are as simple as possible.


Wattif's complete charging solution is based on the idea that people should be able to charge where they normally park, rather than having to park in order to charge.

"If you have a parking space, we have a charging solution that suits you," is Wattif's message to parking space owners across the country, and in six countries across Europe. However, charging stations require much more than just parking spaces. Therefore, Wattif also offers flexible solutions related to financing, operation, maintenance, and revenue-sharing options. In addition, Wattif has chosen subcontractors, DEFA and Q-Light, which produce approved products with a high sustainability score, in addition to maximum usability for end users, installers, and owners.


Ensuring good experiences


Wattif also takes responsibility for ensuring that the charging facilities are safe and comply with all standards and regulations. Neither the owners of parking spaces, such as housing cooperatives and businesses, nor the installers, need to delve into all the regulations and equipment options.

Global Head of Technical Sales at Wattif, Kjetil Hulbach, has been working with electric vehicle charging for 11 years. For him and the company, it is fundamentally important that the company tailors the right solutions for both the customers and the environment.

–  Beyond ensuring that the charging facilities you provide meet electrical safety and sustainability perspectives, what is important for Wattif when designing charging facilities?
Setting up the right number of chargers. This way, one can make the most out of the available energy and avoid "wasting" chargers. Different locations have different needs. It also ensures that the electric vehicle driver has a good charging experience, he answers.


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(Kjetil Hulback, Global Head of Technical Sales i Wattif)


Key to good charging


Allowing people to charge where they park reduces both the challenge of having to park to fully charge and range anxiety. And parking spaces are virtually everywhere. But it's not necessarily right to put out as many charging stations as possible. The products need to be produced, transported, and installed. If they are poorly utilized, it's not sustainable. Therefore, Wattif is genuinely concerned with adapting the products and solutions they deliver to the locations. For example, one can charge a little slower at a hotel overnight, or where cars are parked for a whole conference day.

– In buildings with low available power, or where it is not possible to get increased power delivered from the utility company, there is no point in setting up 20 charging points, even though we naturally want to set up as many as possible. Charging at low power provides poorer user experiences. Then it's better to set up 10 charging points and let those who charge have a good experience. We base it on how long the cars are parked at the destination and the available power in the area. Then we tailor the solutions based on the location and parking time, describes Hulbach.

Win – win


Electricians are closest to the customers daily, while Wattif's strength lies in complete and flexible charging solutions, as well as organization and financial resources.

- By contributing financing and all the support that property owners need, we help electricians get more and simpler tasks. They can use us as a tool in their toolkit. In dialogue with property owners, they can offer that we at Wattif contribute to the investment and take responsibility for customizing and operating the facility. So, electricians can concentrate on what they are specialists in, explains Kjetil Hulbach.
No matter which package solutions are chosen, the profit is shared with the property owner, who always receives an income from the charging facility.

Now, Wattif has offices in six countries and operates more than 26,000 charging points.


Facilities with a long lifespan


Wattif's subcontractors DEFA and Q-Light each contribute in their way to the sustainable total solutions. Q-Light produces the approved and flexible charging poles ONEPOLE, while DEFA supplies the actual chargers. Both meet the basic sustainability requirements of simple function, longevity, and flexibility. This addresses the needs related to new technology, as well as new demands from consumers and facility owners.


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(ONEPOLE with DEFA charger) 


We aim to make it easy for motorists to charge when they stop. We have figures showing that an electric vehicle driver connects and disconnects from a charger up to 300 times a year. These are hundreds of moments where ease of use and a positive user experience make a difference. We look forward, developing solutions that not only meet today's needs but are also prepared for tomorrow's charging everyday life. Scalability is the key – from smart charging stations, efficient management to critical infrastructure, believes Anders Granquist, EVP Marketing & Business Development at DEFA.
DEFA's contribution to Wattif's complete charging solutions is the DEFA Power charger, with, among other things, a permanently mounted cable and informative display.


Cable and communication


For many, the challenge with charging is that you have to fetch the charging cable. When you open the trunk and have to search for the cable lying at the bottom, charging becomes a chore. With DEFA's permanently mounted cable, charging is easier, says Kjetil Hulbach at Wattif.
On the user-friendly digital display, the motorist gets information about everything from the status of the charging process to price information and guidance through the charging. DEFA's chargers are also adapted for existing and forthcoming regulations and payment solutions.

– Just as gasoline prices are dynamic, electricity prices vary throughout the day. Then it's a requirement that we provide ongoing price information, explains Anders Granquist from DEFA.
He expresses enthusiasm for Wattif's significant international ambitions and that they have chosen DEFA as a charger supplier.

–  We meet both existing and forthcoming requirements in safety, delivery, and approval. Our products will therefore support Wattif in their international growth journey.


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(Anders Granquist, EVP Marketing & Business Development i DEFA) 

A bit warm


Among the reasons why DEFA's chargers support Wattif's international venture is that the chargers always deliver full power, even in warm weather. Here's the explanation: When a motorist is expected to pay for charging with a power of, for example, 11 kW, a certain amount of energy is expected when finished. Most charger manufacturers have to reduce the charging power when their chargers become too hot, especially in direct sunlight, to prevent damage to the charger's components.

–  It's a recurring theme every summer, experiencing reduced power because it gets too hot. The problem is significant here in Norway, but only gets bigger the further south in Europe you go. For charging operators, it's crucial to be able to deliver the promised power. Therefore, DEFA's charger has the best thermal solutions, which remove the heat from the components.

–  Does it work?

– Yes, it works. You don't notice it in winter, but in summer, it makes a big difference. In connection with customer satisfaction, the power and delivered energy quantity are crucial for facility owners like Wattif, answers Anders Granquist.


Meets all requirements


Back to Kjetil Hulbach at Wattif. He is also impressed with Q-Light's user-friendly and flexible charging poles ONEPOLE, made of 75 percent recycled aluminum and designed for a lifespan of 20 years. This saves the environment while ensuring long-term economic value for charging operators and the environment.

–  I've worked in the industry for a long time. There are many who come up with new ideas, and new manufacturers and solutions constantly emerge. The ONEPOLE charging poles are modular, robust, and flexible. They can be combined so that they fit any location, they are universally designed, and not least, Q-Light has taken into account the importance of electrical safety. You cannot mount chargers and fuses on just anything. The pole must be tested and approved, and in compliance with the current standards. ONEPOLE is. And when the supplier of the charging pole and the actual charger takes responsibility for optimizing and securing their products, we can concentrate on optimizing ours as an operator, maintainer, and builder of charging facilities, emphasizes Hulbach.

Everyone has a responsibility for sustainability


Kristoffer Repstad, who is the head of E-mobility at Q-light, is in turn concerned that the three companies not only complement each other but also share fundamental values.

–  For Wattif, DEFA, and us at Q-Light, being as sustainable as possible is both a driving force and an internal requirement. All three deliver lasting solutions with minimal emissions and a focus on safety. Wattif's destination chargers are more sustainable than fast charging. We are proud to contribute to their efforts towards zero emissions.

- Why is fast charging less sustainable?

– It requires much more infrastructure, such as stronger cables, higher masts, and larger transformers. Often, the chargers are placed in local communities, where the capacity is not so large. Then, the fast charging takes up much of the capacity. It affects the remaining capacity in the local community. Alternatively, new infrastructure must be established, with all the environmental strains it entails. Everyone benefits from destination charging.

– But when the sale of electric cars took off, the mantra was fast chargers?

–  Yes, but the range of the batteries means that one does not have the same charging needs as before. Destination charging also means that the car can be charged well before the battery is empty.


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(Kristoffer Repstad, Head of E-Mobility I Q-Light) 


Contributing together


– And what is Q-Light's role in the collaboration?

– We are to keep Wattif safe with an approved infrastructure and facilitate the installation of DEFA's chargers. Then, it should not be necessary to tear everything down to install a new charger. ONEPOLE is designed for various chargers. That's a value the end customer gets back, and we are best at providing that factor to the charging operator Wattif. So, Wattif can focus on their job, while we ensure that the solution we deliver is safe, approved, and durable.

– Wattif is going to grow a lot, and we appreciate that they are so clear about choosing us, emphasizes Q-Light's Kristoffer Repstad.


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