Can you tell us about your company, its history, missions and areas of expertise?
The idea of creating a bookable and monetisable terminal was developed at the end of 2016. Marc Lepage and David Leguide envisioned WattPark as the first collaborative charging terminal that can be booked using a mobile application.
It is based on Airbnb’s principle (as described by the magazine USINE NOUVELLE). The company was founded in January 2017 in the south of Essonne, in Saclas. In terms of operation, the terminal and parking space user can decide to use them for his/her own use, but he also has the possibility to display them on the WattPark application by defining the availability and the occupancy price with or without charge.
What will the electric vehicle market look like by 2030? And what constraints will it face?
A sharp rise in the market is being felt and we are seeing more and more electric vehicles on our roads. This trend is backed up by a new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which now estimates that the market share of electric and hybrid cars in total car sales will reach 33% by 2025 and 51% by 2030 (including 39% in France), compared with 25% and 50% respectively in their previous 2017 study. As a mechanical consequence, the diesel share will increase from 12% to 4% and that of petrol from 78% to 44% over the next ten years. The market for electric vehicles is constantly growing.
The main constraint today is the number of charging terminals available throughout the territory. In light of the above-mentioned estimate for the sale of electric vehicles, a network must be created, thus allowing each user not to worry about charging anymore. With WATTPARK, a complete, bookable and monetisable network is possible. The cost is relatively low and above all, the locations can be fully adapted: the terminal can be connected anywhere, in town or in the countryside, in both private and professional premises.
What is WATT PARK? What are the basic technical features? How is it installed, how is it used and what are its strong points?
Wattpark is an intelligent charging terminal linked to a mobile application enabling users to remotely book, park and charge wherever they need it (at home, at the office, in cities, car parks, shops, etc.). Our terminal is easy to install (all you need is a 16-amp electrical line), and is also suitable for individuals who wish to propose their own parking space. It integrates data and includes a mobile reservation and monetisation system. Our solution works everywhere, even in white zones. WattPark is versatile and targets different audiences according to their needs. Local authorities can invest sustainably in terminals at a deliberately low price (500 € before tax) to allow for a rapid return on investment with an “à la carte” pricing system. The WattPark terminal can also be used as a parking meter and can manage a car park for either an electric or thermal vehicle. Finally, private individuals can also install our terminals, which are more powerful and better adapted to their electric car than a domestic socket. These private terminals can be made public and connect to the network of access points on our application. WattPark will become the “Airbnb” of the charging system, thus cutting back on public investment. We are accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to electricity while addressing Smart Grid issues. Our customers benefit from our algorithms and our data, which will increase as the charging point network grows. We know their cars, their consumption and the network status thus enabling us to anticipate needs, consumption peaks, propose an efficient and more ecological charging solution and avoid damaging their batteries.
The professional press in France describes you as the “AIRBNB of the charging terminal”. What is your business model and who is its target audience?
It is easy to install, can be used anywhere, can be booked and monetised, and above all, is collaborative. In other words, the charging terminal can be of interest to an individual, a company or a community. It also serves as a parking meter and flow counter.
On the one hand, the terminal and parking space holder can either decide to use them for their own personal use or, on the other hand, the holder can register the space on the dedicated platform. Afterwards, the fee is deducted by WattPark, which pays 90% of the amount collected to the holder of the parking space.
In the current European Green Deal context, what would you like to say to public and private decision-makers and to the general public?
In the context of the energy transition, cities are practically obliged to provide charging stations throughout their territories. Instead of investing tens of thousands of euros (a supercharger alone costs 15,000 to 35,000 euros), we offer to help individuals equip themselves for optimum coverage. One could imagine a public-private energy transition model based on public superchargers and privately owned parking spaces, all without state intervention.