APEX EV turns up focus on leasing company partnerships
Peterborough-based charging solutions provider APEX EV is looking to partner with more leasing companies and fleet management providers to help accelerate take-up of greener vehicles.
The business, founded by managing director Neil Gardiner some 18 months ago, has quickly established itself as a specialist in EV charger installation across the UK; initially from Rolec – which is just down the road in Boston Lincolnshire – but it also now works with suppliers from the Netherlands, France and Spain to ensure it can offer the full portfolio of charging solutions.
And according to fellow director Mike Cantelo – an engineer by background and with some 30 years’ automotive industry experience to complement Gardiner’s purchasing director history – it’s this that sets the company apart from other charge point installers.
He said: “Our USP is that we are not just an installer and equally we are not tied to a single manufacturer. For example we met with a big leasing car company recently and showed how one of our products might suit a client for domestic use at home, while for a business that’s purchasing, say, 30, 40, 50 vehicles we can meet their needs with a different product from a different manufacturer. Essentially, we can mix and match.
“All our charge point suppliers offer slightly different products. So we are able to go to clients and plan the installation around their needs rather than forcing them to go down a single route.
“We want to be more than just installers, we want to work with clients and understand their requirements and provide them with the right products for their needs. And having four different manufacturers all with slightly different product offerings on tap enables us to do just that.”
Although APEX EV works across the market – it’s currently in talks with a major supermarket looking to fit 50kW and even 150kW chargers at its UK sites – it’s mainly talking to leasing companies, who are themselves responding to “almost universal” requests from clients to provide charging for their new cars.
Cantelo continued: “So they’re looking for reliable partners that they could call upon as a ‘one stop shop’.
“We’ve had businesses approach us where they’ve looked to work with other firms but the offer or the timescale is not appropriate for their needs so that’s where we fill a niche.
“So you have the big names such as Pod Point and BP Chargemaster and they’re going after the big customers. BP Chargemaster for example are fitting charge points in petrol stations. We are not competitors with them, we’re not in that market.
“But equally we are small enough and nimble enough to be able to accommodate what the leasing companies want. We are more than just an installer; we will spend time discussing with their clients what they want, providing a consultative approach.”
Future proofing is also a focus. Cantelo added: “We’re mindful that the technology is advancing very fast and vehicle technology and battery technology is changing. Our ethos is that we work with our customers to assess their needs on a future-proofed basis. We’d rather sell just four or five units and the customer come back to us if they need more rather than sell them a load of redundant units that are never going to be used.”
He summed up: “Our view is very collaborative and this is what really attracted us to fleet. They are constantly dealing with new clients so it’s not a one-hit wonder; we want to build relationships with these people.”