“Our main goal is to make Wallbox the home energy center”
Innovation & technology 19 May 2022
The idea for Wallbox arose during a conversation at a wedding, and it has since become the first Spanish unicorn listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The goal is to be much more than a charger for electric cars, and to become the energy management nerve center in efficient and sustainable homes.
Enric Asunción took part in the XIII Real Estate Trends Seminar: "Barcelona loves tech & talent" organized by the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club. He discussed Barcelona's ability to attract talent and entrepreneurs, and explained the keys to Wallbox's expansion, the challenges faced in its meteoric growth, and future plans.
Creating a sustainable future through technology
We do two things at Wallbox. The first is we make the boxes you put on the wall, hence the name 'Wallbox' to charge electric cars. It's not the important part. The most important part is energy management. An electric car's battery is a huge battery that can store enough energy to power a house for four years. What we do isn't just charge that battery, but also discharge it and manage all the energy in the house to charge when energy is cheaper and save money, use the maximum power and use renewable energy.
The keys to Wallbox's growth
We have four main principals. The first is technology, developing products not just to charge cars, as I said before, but also for energy management. The second is vertical integration. We have factories in Barcelona, China and the USA. This allows us to grow very quickly, deliver all the products as we grow, also maintain good margins and solve the problems that are occurring right now due to the lack of components and supply chain problems. The third principal is global presence. We're present in 100 countries. And finally, the last key point is the brand. Creating this image of technology and energy transition is key for the future, we think.
We've found two main challenges since the company's birth. The first one is talent. Having the best team for each moment in the company. And the second is getting finance. The company grows; by growing exponentially and in many countries, you need funds, mainly when you're building factories, developing new products... So flotation was very important for us.
Barcelona, the ideal setting
I was in Tesla, in Holland. At the time, I was the manager of home charging for the whole of Tesla in Europe. I realised that my partners, some of whom are now our competitors, were focused on public chargers in the street. I realised that the key was charging at home and solving it at home. As my partners didn't want to do it, I decided to create Wallbox. And the best place, apart from being my hometown, I found was Barcelona because we have suppliers in the car industry that allow us to make the product, we have engineering, software and hardware talent, and it's a place where we can attract talent from across the world to create the company.
Training for an entrepreneurial ecosystem
I think it's very important to provide support for creation so there are more funds and capital venture funds so that companies like us can grow. The more training there is in the finance sector, the more companies in the finance sector that come to Barcelona and there are profiles to support them, we think it'll be better for companies like us.
Speeding up the transition towards sustainable mobility
The most important thing to speed up the transition is government measures. The people are sure of it, mainly the new generations. What we have to do is help this transition towards electric cars to be easier in terms of economics. Once this transition is started on a massive scale, the product and car costs will fall and it will be a lot easier. Providing this support is the first key and urgent step.
Our main aim is the possibility for Wallbox to become the centre of the house, in the house's energy centre. Thanks to the two-way charge and our products, like Quasar, you can use the car to power all the house's consumption and store the energy. And not just that. Now we have products in which solar panels, the house's renewable production, are connected directly to the charger. So, the charger becomes the production, the house's energy storage and management.
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