Tritium's Veefil-PK ultra fast chargers could change how we charge electric vehicles. Supplied.
Tritium’s Veefil-PK ultra fast chargers could change how we charge electric vehicles. Supplied.

Brisbane-based EV fast charger developer Tritium is gearing up its US expansion plans, with the appointment of California clean tech industry veteran Jeff Wolfe as company president for the Americas region.

Tritium said on Tuesday that Wolfe, who has spent the past couple of decades running his own national company in the US solar sector, had joined the company at a crucial time, with electric vehicle adoption hitting the mainstream.

In particular, Wolfe is expected to help navigate the America’s “diverse and complex regulatory environment” to roll out Tritium’s DC fast charging technology in key states and “industry verticals,” including utilities, transport and infrastructure, government and retail.

“The Americas EV market is steadily developing, however industry continues to navigate challenges around infrastructure, and the limited ability to meet the needs of organisations and consumers with existing ‘Level 2’ chargers which cap charging speeds to 7kW,” said Tritium co-founder and CEO David Finn in comments on Tuesday.

“Tritium is focused on eliminating this public anxiety by working as the technology partner of key industry stakeholders to build out rapid DC charging – known as ‘Level 3’, reflecting vastly improved speeds.

“Having already played a pivotal role in the transformation of the solar industry, Jeff brings to us experience that will be critical in achieving this goal, and our wider strategic expansion in the Americas. We are in a great position to transition the ‘gas station experience’ to the modern era,” Finn said.

Wolfe’s appointment marks the latest in a series of strategic moves to break into the US EV charging market, including a deal with New York listed firm Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which saw the fuel technology dispensing systems specialist take a small stake in Tritium.

Tritium was also selected to receive a significant amount of US Department of Energy funding with a view to developing smaller, ultra fast chargers that are not reliant on transformers to connect them to a medium voltage grid.

The US is the next key frontier for Tritium, after a bumper year in Europe in 2018, including a major deal to supply its Veefil-PK HPC systems to the IONITY network (a joint charging venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen).

So far it has installed chargers in a total of 26 countries worldwide, including the US, where it opened its first office in 2017, in Torrance, California.

Wolfe, who has also held senior leadership roles at Just Energy and Shell, said the EV market was growing quickly across North America, with a number of factors helping to trigger an “adoption surge.”

“We already see an increased pull from legislators and regulators in many states who are creating programs, incentives, and regulatory realignment,” he said.

“Additionally, an influx of new vehicles will become available, increasing consumer choice and appeal. Finally, lower cost EVs will emerge, opening the market to new demographics.

“These factors all combine to make the switch from gasoline-fuelled vehicles economically viable for most organizations and consumers. With its proven DC fast charging technology, backed by a strong company culture, Tritium has proven to be a prominent player in the transition to EVs.”

Listen to Tritium’s James Kennedy talk to Giles Parkinson about the rapid transition to EV charging, on the lastest Driven Podcast

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