Fast chargers. Finding an Ionity charging station is not much of a problem for electric vehicle owners these days. Europe’s biggest fast charging network uses chargers from Australian supplier Tritium – including integrated technology from Rittal. Tritium’s founder and CEO David Finn explains why now is the time to have faith in e-mobility.
Interview: Sophie Bruns
Mr Finn, Tritium has been operating for 20 years now. What motivated you to set out on your own? I never actually intended to – it just happened. At the time, I was at the University of Queensland, where we were using batteries to run power electronics systems and applications. After a while, we discovered the potential of fast chargers and started to develop our expertise in this area.
That saw Tritium become one of Australia’s fastest growing companies… ...going from a start-up to being one of the five biggest suppliers in the e-mobility market was an exciting journey for us. We’ve received financial support from the Government of Queensland over the past two years so that we can continue to grow. In the beginning there weren’t many electric cars in Australia and growth was sluggish. That was another reason why we expanded into Europe – things were moving faster there.
One of the key concepts at Tritium is “energy freedom”. What exactly does that mean? It has a dual meaning. Firstly, it’s about being able to charge your car with electricity easily whenever you like – and at a low cost. Secondly, it also means people don’t need to change their lifestyles to do something good for the environment. Electromobility is becoming accessible for a broad mass market. People can install these systems at their house, too, and achieve independence that way.
Does this also make electromobility more appealing? Most certainly. When there are more chargers, there’s more trust in e-mobility. Besides the price of an electric or hybrid car, range also plays a crucial role. Once the vehicles can cover a long distance on a single charge and there are enough charging stations around, there’s no longer any reason not to use electric vehicles. Our aim is to ensure everyone will in future be able to charge their car really easily, whether they’re out and about, at work or at home.
How is Rittal helping you pursue this aim? When we launched production to meet an order for IONITY, we needed to find a supplier for enclosures. One of the key criteria was rapid availability, as we also had to fulfil this major order quickly. Other important factors were the service and availability offered by Rittal. That is what won us over.
Not only have you expanded into Germany, but last year you were also declared “Queensland Exporter of the Year”. What do you have planned next for Tritium? The new headquarters in Amsterdam is going to be an exciting project, but we basically want to keep heading in the same direction. We have grown year on year and expanded worldwide, and we can and should see the same trend continue as regards infrastructure.