Interview with the new entry in Flash Battery, the Sales Director Matteo Donelli, who talks about the electrification market in Europe, the commercial and production trends and how the company has faced this past year dominated by pandemics and uncertainties
“It is as if the research and development managers of European companies have had the opportunity, given the imposed lockdown, to stop and reflect on culture, regulations… to bring innovation, and therefore our lithium and electrification, into the company in a more systematic way and not just as an isolated experiment.”
This is just one of the more captivating statements that Matteo Donelli, Sales Director of Flash Battery, gave in his interview.
A market that leaves the prototype niche to go into production
Donelli described a mature market to us, ready for electrification, a market that is finally making that long-awaited leap for a change in electricity. This did not mature by itself but is the result of long efforts by Flash Battery.
“During the lockdown – explains Donelli – we continued to create culture by focusing on our assets: Flash Battery lithium batteries and our technology. We have done a lot of technical training for English, German as well as Italian companies. Even our marketing has devoted itself to the mission of generating knowledge in the world of lithium by providing technical culture through articles and knowledge sharing, all efforts that are now rewarded. In fact, we are witnessing the evolution of the market and customers: lithium machines are leaving the prototype niche to go to production or even mass production.”
Trends of European electrification: sustainability, efficiency and rental
For Flash Battery it was a year of growth precisely because so many new projects came into being that are linked to an extremely strong push towards electrification that currently involves many countries, especially in Northern Europe where they are introducing increasingly stringent regulations towards traditional combustion machines. Electric is now becoming a mandatory step.
But what fuels this push for electrification? “Surely there is an ever more careful research towards sustainable technologies: with less harmful emissions, less noise but without sacrificing performance.” But the Sales Director of Flash Battery also introduces another important theme: that of rental. “The market is moving from sale to rental, we are already seeing this happen here, but just take a look at the overseas trends to understand that this tendency will only consolidate. This change in the use of the machines requires longer service life: the more a machine manages to maintain its efficiency over time, the more suitable it is for rental. Lithium as compared to thermal power, but also to the lead, is the technology that is best able to maintain machine efficiency over time.”
Sustainability, efficiency and longevity of the machines: the answer is Flash Battery
Therefore, according to European trends, the market seeks machines that are more:
These are precisely the characteristics of Flash Battery, developed by virtue of the outstanding experience gained with AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles), a particularly stressful sector, characterised by heavy work cycles that can take things to the extreme with intensive 24/7 shifts. Flash Battery lithium batteries have excellent performance in these applications, tangible proof of safe chemistry, with tested cycles (over 4000 cycles) and a long battery life.
“Today [ed. 23/11/2020] Elettric80 has fitted over 2,635 LGV and AGV trucks with Flash Battery lithium batteries located in over 45 countries and in more than 176 plants in the most diverse sectors. Our groundbreaking experience has given us access to markets where lithium was not present: platforms, special machines, ground support equipment, agricultural machinery… the combination of this experience gained in the most challenging situation for a battery (AGVs) and our operating mode with personalised consulting, this is why we are the exclusive partner of various European realities that are ready to make a decisive leap into electrification.”
Important new partnerships
In 2020, Flash Battery, with its plan to spread the lithium culture, entered into commercial agreements with dealers in France, Germany and Belgium.
“We have excellent results, for example, from the French agricultural sector – explains Donelli – where there is a tendency towards electrification in viticulture, animal husbandry and garden care. Our intervention makes it possible to create a green supply chain, an increasingly sought after and requested parameter, especially in supply chains related to food. But we have over 60 projects in the field with European companies, all aimed at electrification. But the most important thing is that most of the projects arise from a radical change, they are part of a deep shift towards electrification, they are not one-off experiments, or limited innovation tests, we are talking about advanced customers, which are international companies, medium-sized Italian customers, large key players… the interest is to convert to lithium, have important productions, mass production.“
Focus on Italy
We also asked Donelli for a comment on the situation in our country: “The Italian industry, in relation to our projects, creates a market trend! French and German players regard our industry with respect. Of course we suffer from having many small to medium enterprises, penalised by size. But we have the quality of making special machines, in this we are very strong and appreciated. Italian know-how is still a gift of value.”
A 2021 of international consolidation with new partners and new resources
In light of this atypical 2020, which was a turning point for the market, 2021 will certainly be a year of consolidation for the presence of Flash Battery in Europe.
How? Donelli talks about creating and strengthening the commercial network in Benelux, France, Germany, Spain and Greece.
Flash Battery is working with several partners producing inverters, motors, battery chargers, but also plans to add new figures. “Technicians but not only, also figures with an international culture to dialogue with the various markets, towards an increasingly deep-rooted internationalisation. In fact, if there is one lesson that this 2020 has given us, it is the importance of dialogue and the dissemination of the lithium culture. Preparing the market, explaining the technology, talking to our partners really makes the difference. We will continue to focus on this, not only for what regards sales, but also to shape the market and create a cultural network for ongoing consultancy on our technology that we are certain will make the future much more sustainable, right away.”