Now, we start a new chapter of Zaptec’s story

I grew up in a tiny community with under 2000 inhabitants, Moi, an hour’s drive from Stavanger – the energy capital of Norway. We have our cornerstone company. A company everyone in town has ties to. My father worked there. There was a culture where less talk and more action were the norm, and the results often spoke for themselves. From a very early age, it becomes rooted in your mentality; you are responsible for your own results. No one comes to bail you out. But at the core, there’s a huge desire to create. We are underdogs. But we’re comfortable with that. It drives us. This mentality is what I bring as the new CEO of Zaptec.

By: Kurt Østrem, CEO of Zaptec.

Innovation born from the underdog mentality

Zaptec isn't a conglomerate. We are a team of 200 dedicated employees. We are not the biggest, but we aim to be the smartest. We have the nimbleness to sidestep while others are still turning their wheels. As market leaders in some of the most well-developed EV markets on the planet, we've specialised our expertise in the challenges of early adoption – and the unique demands of the broader, rapidly expanding customer base. And I believe this latter category is our key to succeeding in a very competitive market. Innovating products for early adopters is one task – but creating a product and experience that fits the customers in the mass-adoption and late-adopter categories is entirely different.

This is especially true as we are positioning ourselves to grab market shares in the rest of Europe. Remember, in Europe, the electric vehicle wave has only just begun. When Europeans charge at home, at their office, or at a public car park, we will do everything in our power to make sure that is done with a charger from Zaptec.

Calculated expansion

Being nimble and smart does not mean we don’t have plans to grow. We are going to continue to grow. I have no belief that success means stabilising at today's level, polishing the margins, and saying that we are 'happy' with that. Right now, we are strategically positioning ourselves in Europe to strike with full force as soon as the market turns. Because it will – with 100% certainty. It's inevitable. We are gearing up to strike with full force, but we are trying to do it in a way that doesn’t require us to take on enormous debt. As many companies do. Call it ‘living within our means’. Or down-to-earth practicality.

And here in Norway, people might not see the big picture. But when I talk to people on my travels out in Europe, people connected to the car industry and the entire ecosystem around it, they are completely shocked when I say that we had a 94% increase in turnover from 2022 to 2023. We’re gaining market shares. And that we are gearing up for further growth. The short-term macroeconomic challenges make others gun-shy. Or many are simply on their knees. But that's what makes Zaptec's position so unique. Here we are.

Expanding the charging ecosystem

It’s an exciting time to take the helm of the Zaptec ship. We continue to build while others are laying down their tools. The next natural step for us is to expand the ecosystem around the charger. We are exploring several exciting directions. This will enable us to control the user experience better and offer us opportunities for recurring revenue – more flexibility.

However, a central element I want to highlight is that we couldn't have done it the other way around. We started with patented charging technology. We became experts on the core task, which is essential to solve Europe's need for charging – even with limitations in the power grid and capacity. And then, we built on the necessary pieces to expand the service further. But our unique expertise and patented charging solution is the foundation."

What to expect from Zaptec moving forward

As we prepare for 2025, our focus sharpens. There is tremendous optimism as we read the significant forecasts from Bloomberg and others. We anticipate a 20% increase in electric cars in Europe this year. Next year, there is a forecast for 45% growth in Europe. This is tied to the belief in better macroeconomic times, leading to a renewal in purchasing power. It is also connected to the arrival of new, more affordable electric car models. Tesla, Volkswagen, and others are introducing EVs priced at 25,000 euros, making the prospect of high volume and strong sales ahead undoubtedly present.

We deliver quality solutions that our customers embrace. We compete on price. We are a cohesive team possessing the expertise needed to succeed. Now, we need to work even better together, collaborate, and achieve results together. Then, we will be ready for whatever the future holds.