In an interview with Insights Success, Guy Mannino, the Founder and CEO of Verdek, briefly describes the overview of his organization, some of the challenges it has faced and strategies he has incorporated to strengthen its foothold in the market. This charismatic, result focused, communicative, and fast charging leader has driven his company’s product offerings to a global scale with his modern and innovative management and operational expertise.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Guy and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of the company, its uniqueness and its vision.
Verdek LLC was founded in 2008 by Guy Mannino, the former CEO of Pirelli Tire North America. Verdek promotes the supporting infrastructure for alternative transportation such as electric and CNG vehicles. Verdek offers a full range of EV chargers, CNG (compressed natural gas) compressors, LNG (liquified natural gas) mini plants and Biogas processing equipment.
Verdek’s EV Charging Division utilizes a variety of turnkey EV charging infrastructure solutions covering a full range of slow, fast and ultra-fast chargers as well as low cost reliable and practical solutions for residential use. Verdek furnishes solutions for fleets, parking areas in offices and multi-family properties. Some of the chargers that we provide are networked and they can be remotely controlled, some are non-network and can be used as “plug & charge” stations.
Our objective is to provide the “right” EV charger and the lowest possible installation cost for the highest return on investment for our customer. Verdek has developed over the years, a nationwide network of authorized installers trained to install all Verdek chargers and also capable of managing the after sales service and maintenance. We continue updating our product offering with a continuous search for the most competitive solutions from costing and performance stand point.
What are the cutting-edge products/solutions offered by Verdek?
The EV charging world is moving rapidly; we have gone from plug-in hybrids to electric vehicles with a range of 80- 100miles and now with vehicles in the 200-350 miles. This breaks all range barriers and positions the EVs as a real alternative to gas engine driven cars and SUVs. The new EVs move from commuting, city vehicles to comprehensive vehicles capable of intercity mobility; this means to remove the range anxiety that has hindering the sales of EVs to the mass market. Verdek is committed to promote the EV fast and ultra-fast charging infrastructure which reduces the charging time from hours to minutes just like at a gas station. With this infrastructure in place EV drivers will resolve the range anxiety and EVs will enter the automobile mass market.
Our customers rely on our experience to comply with their requirements. The utility companies are the most demanding and we have deployed large installations in Austin and San Antonio, TX. Whole Foods Market is a very progressive grocery chain servicing a market segment that is well versed to EV chargers. All new WFM stores are designed to offer EV charging facilities to their customers. Verdek has been providing EV chargers to WFM during the last 10 years. Capital One is a very progressive company committed to offer its employees the most welcoming environment including attracting the employees with Evs.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
The most important experience is that the market moves at its own pace. We cannot speed it up. We started in 2008 promoting EV chargers perhaps ahead of the market. The only EVs where actually the Prius Hybrids using aftermarket EV conversion kit, well ahead of the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. It has taken 10 years for EVs to become popular. We understood early in the game that our customers were not looking for EV chargers, they were looking for EV charging solutions for the long term. Verdek made a mission of following its customers’ demands and quickly adjusted to them.
What are the challenges faced while providing EV charging solutions and how is Verdek serving to tackle them?
Our ongoing challenge is to make Verdek a recognized brand in the EV charging industry. We work aggressively on market penetration, communication through social media, and participation to industry events to promote Verdek’s brand. We are moving from a product provider to solution provider, we have a national network of authorized installers, so we can follow our national accounts in all States. We have strengthened our technical support team to address any customers’ request and grant a positive charging experience. Our customers count on Verdek to offer turnkey solutions and that we are capable to manage them, so we can offer a hassle free solution.
What according to you could be the potential future of EV charging and how does Verdek envision sustaining its competency?
The initial phase of the EV market growth was linked to providing EV charging all around metropolitan areas. We are now moving from plugin Hybrid and EVs with 100-mile range to EVs with 250-350 mile range. In 2019 all major car manufacturers will have a line of electric vehicles and this is the beginning of the next phase of the EV market evolution.
We are moving from using EVs around cities for short commutes to a full deployment of EVs for intercity transportation. This is a paradigm shift. Market studies project that the gas driven vehicles and electric vehicle will have comparable prices by 2023. With equal cost and long range autonomy, the EV market will grow exponentially. Verdek is preparing to deal with the shear mass growth, adjusting the structure to sustain the sales growth, the installations project supervision, and the technical support.
The EV market is fascinating; most of the consumers know little about it and do not have a good source of information in the car dealers that mainly promote gas driven vehicles. Verdek invests a lot of time in educating its current and potential customers on the advantages of electric vehicles and its related charging solutions. The Tesla Model 3 is changing the perspective of the consumers. Electric cars used to be ugly; now consumers are starting to notice their great design and performance. There is more curiosity, interest and the EV market is moving from the world of the “tree huggers” to the mass market.
Source: The 10 Smart EV Charging Solution Providers, 2018