Greenbuddies tips – July 2020

Electromobility in Austria

In this issue of our Newsletter we continue to map our key target markets. Today I shall bring some basic facts on the country of our southern neighbours – Austria.

Electric mobility initiates a turnaround in mobility and paves way to cleaner transport of the future. The key words are range, infrastructure and price. Most electric vehicles cruising the roads of our neighbours are fast-charging. In Austria there are already over 5,000 charging points and a quick charging station every 60 km. And the price? There are grants and special leasing and rental models for the BEV (battery electric vehicle).
Since July 1st, 2020, there have been new premiums valid throughout Austria for the purchase of electric vehicles. The purchase of an electric car (BEV) or a car with a fuel cell (FCEV) is funded with a total of 5,000 euros (2,000 euros for automobile importers + 3,000 euros for Ministry of Environment, Energy and Transport, BMK) per vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (PHEV) [except diesel plug-in] and range extenders (REX, REEV), there is a total of 2,500 euros (1,250 euros for automobile importers + 1,250 euros for BMK).

The total number of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) in Austria was around 51,300 in 2019. The majority of these are now purely electric cars; in 2019 there were around 29,500 passenger cars with electric drives in Austria. The proportion of cars with electric drives rose to around 0,59 percent of the total number of passenger cars.

A similar development can be observed in other vehicle classes. The stock of electric trucks has been growing steadily since 2010, but the growth took place almost exclusively in the class up to 3,5 tons total weight (vehicle class N1). In 2019, around 2,600 electric delivery vans were approved for road traffic in Austria. A steady increase can also be observed in vehicle class L (motorbikes / trikes / quadricyles). The number of buses with electric drives, on the other hand, developed inconsistently. The number of new registrations of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) reached a new high in 2019, for the first time over 14,300 electric vehicles were newly registered. Over 74 percent of new registrations of purely electric vehicles were passenger cars in 2019, and a total of around 9,200 electric cars were registered for the first time. The share of new car registrations was 2.81 percent. The best-selling electric car was Tesla’s Model 3 in 2019. Around 5,000 charging stations for electric cars are available in Austria. Most were installed in Lower Austria, in Vienna the number of charging stations is 831. If all vehicles are operated with an electric motor, an additional electricity requirement of around 20 terawatt hours per year in Austria would be required.

Austria uses various measures to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. These include financial support and tax exemptions. At the federal level, there was a program worth EUR 72 million to support electric two-wheelers and cars in 2017 and 2018. The establishment of charging infrastructure was also supported. A similar program was launched for 2019 and 2020, this time totaling EUR 93 million. Further funding is available at the levels of the federal states and municipalities.

Well, I’m not sure what you think – there’s still a long way for Austrians to go to reach mature emobility in their country. Yet I believe they could set a good example for the Czech government which has so far been pretending this topic does not exist.

Graph 1: Publicly accesible charging points in Austria. Source: Federal Ministry Republic of Austria: Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. AustriaTech. January 2020. Link: www.bmk.gv.at

Pricing electricity process

In this last part of our tech series we will touch on the following complex topic – the electric part of a PV project and its pricing.
The electrical elements of a project can be divided into the following categories:

  • engineering and project design
  • installation of DC
  • installation of AC
  • connection to the grid
  • purchasing of components

Let’s see how the process of pricing may differ from case to case.
There is a significant difference in pricing a project for a smaller entity and a large solar company with expert professional background. The smaller clients are often also new in the field.
Although the most common scope to be priced is a complete delivery of the system (smaller companies say: “give us a price of a complete DC side of installation”), it is very important to clarify what shall be included in our delivery and what has the customer managed on his own, i.e. to agree on a clear scope. Otherwise the client may start comparing “apples and oranges” and some substantial part is forgotten by both parties. This always leads to misunderstandings. The importance of a clear scoping document is crystal clear in the case of an incomplete project documentation or lacking permission for connecting the powerplant to the grid etc. In this sense the large and established solar players typically provide detailed documentation and well-specified requirements. Although we like it as it brings more specific results, it has certain drawbacks, especially that the decision-making process is a bit more complex and can take several months.
Not only does the size of the client’s company make a difference in specification of requirements and then the pricing of the projects, there are also specifications and requirements that differ country to country. As an example, many German companies are using a standardized, structured document called “Leistungverzeichnis” (LV) where all the requested items and the components including their exact amount are all specified. Dutch clients vary in the form of the RFQ which is company-specific, supported by drawing and other specific documents. Though the LV may look difficult at first sight, the work with the LV is smooth once you process the first one. The possible disadvantage of the LV RFQ is that it might not contain all the items necessary to deliver a complete PV plan. Then these costs ( e.g. machinery amounting to tens of thousands of EURO) need to be “dissolved” within the other items and this could possibly distort the comparison among competitors.

 

Presenting GB team

Starting in 2017, Ales Spacil and Ondrej Vodslon were doing everything in the company, the only one who was helping was Ondrej’s wife: she is Italian and was cooking fantastic pasta …

Now, years after this we have a structured but lean company where we have all the functions to provide our services to the clients with the right quality.

We believe that it is important for you to understand what everyones responsibility.
Ales Spacil, Ondrej Vodslon and Ales Damm (for EV Charging LOB) are certainly end-responsible persons throughout the entire process of customer satisfaction. Their division of roles is that Aleš Spáčil is responsible for Sales, Marketing, Human Resources. Ondrej is responsible for Finance, Delivery & Engineering and they share responsibility over Purchasing. Aleš Damm is responsible for all functions of Greenbuddies Charging.
Lets look at who is  doing what within the team:
Once the business is developed, once the opportunity comes to Aleš’s table Dan (primarily for Germany) and Tomáš (primarily for the Netherlands) or Šárka (for EV charging projects) take the lead and prepare the offer. As a Sales support team they also develop independent marketing activities to target the market. Denisa is an assistant to the sales team with an important marketing responsibility in organising events, updating online presence and also generating these newsletters and our quarterly reference packs distributed to the clients.

Liběna (Líba) and Marek are purchasers who support in this phase the offer by tendering most interesting offers for cables, understructures, panels etc. Purchasing than also supports the actual construction phase by finding the best suitable work teams and fixing the right price of the components. Their job includes also logistics and delivery of the component on site.

Construction phase is managed by the Project managers: they are currently 3. Marcel, head of the Project managers, Honza (Jan) and Tommhy. Their role is to bring the project thru all the hurdles of installation to the commissioning phase, it is crucial that the project manager sets a superb relations with the client but keeps also good working relations with the site manager. He needs to translate the wishes of the client to a manageable solution. Project manager is moving from one site to another and although he does not stay there for the whole period of construction he is the main tool for driving the quality of the installation.
Within the finance area Ondrej works mainly on his own. However he is supported by Veronika who also keeps an eye on that the office works well is clean and nice and people feel well.

So – this is Greenbuddies in Prague.

Apart from that we could not achieve such results if we didn’t work with local professionals. In the Netherlands we have stable working relations with Jos who is well connected across the whole country and is able to mediate and “translate” between different business practices in our country and the Netherlands. Similarly, in Austria we are working together with local sales & servicing network helping us with Austrian-specific business aspects. In Germany we are in process of establishing such a position which is in principle very helpful in the area of customer satisfaction.