Interview with Ján Zuštiak
|Ján Zuštiak is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, and an experienced technology product developer. He has founded three successful companies in the energy management, home automation and electric vehicle charging sectors. Ján established AgeVolt in 2019 with a mission to accelerate e-mobility adoption by making Electric Vehicle charging convenient and accessible, facilitate dynamic electricity demand balancing. Ján was also a co-founder of Domotron, a home automation start-up that was tipped as one of the most valuable startups in Central Europe in 2018 at 29mil.Eur. |
|1. AgeVolt chargers are indeed a unique and comprehensive solution, which is often referred to as the “Airbnb in the world of E-mobility”. In a nutshell, would you please introduce us to your vision and strategy for the near future? |
We are focusing on expanding a network of shared SMART EV chargers to make electromobility accessible to all. Our concept of optimizing charging based on the current consumption of the building without overloading of the electrical network is a key to make e-mobility adoption viable. We are enabling all privately owned EV chargers, including the one at your home, to be able to connect to AgeVolt’s Digital Platform network and to make it available to the general public via our application. The charger owner has full control over setting charging and pricing conditions. If they don’t use the home charger whilst at work, then it can make extra income for you meanwhile.
Our aim is to have at least 20% of the electric vehicles always connected to the chargers and the digital platform. This will enable us to work with electricity at the level of a connection, transformer station and energy cluster and generate an income, which we can share with the charger owners as a benefit for connecting to the network. We want to ensure that most electric vehicles in our network could drive almost or completely free of charge.
2. Digitalisation is at an all-time high across various industries. Could you please tell us a little more about your smart control system, which undoubtedly makes your chargers so unique?
Other than the charger itself, AgeVolt’s EV charging system comprises of electricity meters and a central control unit, which can monitor the building’s consumption and adjust the charging power accordingly. The owner of the charger can determine the maximum power of the charger. One central unit can connect to 100 charging points, making it a great solution for hotels, shopping malls, car parks and supermarket chains. Any subsequent chargers come at significantly reduced prices, thus offering a scalable solution with a great financial benefit. We can have a huge positive impact on electromobility perception and prevent polarization of opinions on this topic. EV drivers in need to charge would not have to worry about finding a free, ready-to-use charging point in close proximity and there would also be no need to have reserved spaces for only those that need EV charging.
3. Optimisation of the energy is a key at AgeVolt. What innovative solutions have you implemented to increase the efficiency and performance of chargers?
AgeVolt’s charging system monitors the current consumption of the building and regulates charging performance in real time thus preventing cabling overload, blown fuses and exceeding the reserved capacity. AgeVolt can be connected to photovoltaics where vehicles are charged only from the excess electricity produced by the solar panels.
4. It is no secret, that all components are proudly made in Slovakia. What are the main advantages of being able to be on hand throughout the various stages of the implementation process?
I have to correct you here slightly as not all components are from Slovakia. For example, we have a control unit from Teco, our partner in Czech Republic. We also import some components from Germany. However, the entire production process takes place in Slovakia. Thanks to this, we are able to respond very quickly to customer requirements and develop charging systems that address specific customer needs and challenges. For example, we can connect AgeVolt with car parking management, fleet management, or a loyalty management system. This enables our customers to fully integrate charging into their business plan.
5. What do you consider to be the main reasons of slow adoption of electro mobiles and alternative fuels in CEE region?
There is a noticeable apprehension regarding electromobility – insufficient charging infrastructure forces people to worry about driving range on a single charge instead of considering efficient charging. There is also an inadequate awareness to explain what benefits electromobility brings and how exactly it works. For many people, this is all too abstract and complex.
6. Is it necessary to motivate the consumers to switch to electromobility? Do you offer any benefits for users of your chargers and the energy-management system?
I would not say that they have to be motivated, I would say building awareness and more available information regarding this topic might be the way because electromobility itself has many advantages. Moreover, the transition from internal combustion engines to electric or other alternative vehicles is no longer a matter of choice, but of necessity. However, this massive change should be done effectively, taking into account existing electricity network and its potential. With sustainability in mind, the answer is the expansion of slow charging stations – by making EV charging convenient and accessible at every step, at home, the post office, at work, in the store or during usual longer journeys, without any extra trips solely to charging station points. We can achieve this with the help and cooperation of companies installing chargers in their parking lots, but also in the form of private sharing.
Another point is the simplicity, convenience and accessibility of charging – no need of special cards and registrations. You choose your payment method in the application and then just plug in your phone to start and stop charging. The smart system will optimise the efficiency giving you greater piece of mind.
Active members of our network who offer their charger to the public, in addition to income for themselves, will also be able to charge their car on other chargers with added benefits and reduced cost. It will be an extremely efficient ecosystem that is environmentally friendly, financially viable, taking into account the existing electricity grid,user friendly and beneficial to us all.
|AgeVolt: E-NNOVATIVE ELECTRIC VEHICLES CHARGING SOLUTIONS|
AgeVolt offer a comprehensive EV Charging Digital Ecosystem which comprises of a Digital Platform (Blockchain & AL/ML), Energy Management System and SMART Electric Vehicle Chargers (IOT). We help reduce the total capital and operational costs of Electric Vehicle charger ownership by more than 25%, working with customers across the Auto, Energy, Facilities, Retail, Hospitality, Leisure, Fleet and Real Estate sectors. AgeVolt’s solution optimises charging based on the available capacity of the building, without overloading the grid and eliminating the need to have extra electrical connections. Dynamic load balancing also optimises the available electricity from the grid, battery, or photovoltaic sources. It also has the ability to manage and control multiple units on a single site as well as multiple sites locally allowing for optimum use of available electricity and avoiding grid congestion. Our digital platform brings together EV drivers and charger owners for their EV charging and lifestyle needs, facilitating electricity grid balancing and energy sustainability, making the transition to emobility as smooth as possible. We were awarded the European Union’s (EIC) Seal of Excellence in 2020 and are SET#100 certified by Berlin Energy Transition being amongst the 100 most promising start-ups in 2021. We are an alumni of the MIT Enterprise Forum (Central & Eastern Europe) accelerator programme and have recently closed a funding round led by the Inobat IPM (EV battery research and development) and Venture to Future Fund.