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Electric car rhymes with home and energy autonomy | coffee with sella

“Procrastination” …. There may be a tendency today to procrastinate towards the adoption of the electric car in Italy and abroad. To talk about the evolution of electric mobility, we went for coffee with Alberto Steca, co-founder of Silla, an Italian company in the e-mobility sector that produces electric mobility products like the well-known Prism wallbox. And Stica has clear ideas about the problems that are driving people to delay the adoption of electric cars. Today it is certainly possible for many people, not everyone evaluates the transition to electric mobility with the correct objectivity. There are still contexts where electric mobility is not as functional as it is for those that go the long way. However, in the next 24-36 months there will be an explosion of new car models on the market. Many people are also delaying switching to electric cars due to resistance to change. There is a tendency to face who knows what kind of huge annoyance switching to an electric car is when it is just one of many concerns, thanks to the many false or misleading information that still exists. The start of Silla’s adventure was certainly not “easy” 6-7 years ago the context was very difficult and talking about electricity was almost a taboo … Even today there are people who tell us that they will switch to electric cars only when the state gives an indication of how to dispose of the batteries. When we started 6-7 years ago trying to understand how to work in electricity, when I talked about this topic in the industrial field, it was not very well received. If you have an idea and go to the bank for financing to charge electric cars with solar energy, they will make fun of you. I come from a car dealer background and have always provided transportation, sales and services. When I realized that over time, more people were working on batteries and cars and the lower the price, making electric mobility more accessible, I told myself it was only a matter of time. This is the future and I want to make it happen as quickly as possible. Even if it was not quite so clear when we started from the scientific point of view as it is today, it was already clear that the car did not pollute the place it is moving. For me, thinking about tomorrow, I would prefer the cities to be clean and the pollution to be concentrated where the batteries are produced, because it is in these places that it is better controlled than there are millions of sources of pollution pervasive. Alberto Steca today leads a company that looks to tomorrow. We wanted to understand where the idea for the Sila came from and where the desire to move from the traditional world of cars to the world of the future was born. The spark was born when she met Cristiano Greletti, with whom she founded the company. Cristiano also comes from the automotive world but from the industrial sector, he is an electronic, a computer hacker, always a big proponent of electricity and in the dialogue between me and him we realized that there is a possibility to do something, also starting with a little and we put our own means of financing our product development. In 2016 there was no product on the market to harness solar energy to recharge electric cars. Starting a company that deals with shipping solutions certainly wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning. This is what Stica told us about his experience. In 2016, there was no pandemic yet, component supply crisis and war. These are factors for which the whole world found itself unprepared. I think startups have a much greater capacity to respond to crises but there are difficulties that can inevitably lead to “death” like shutdowns that happen when you have a warehouse full and ready to start production…and at that moment they shut down the company. Here you have to choose whether you will pay the company rent or be evicted from the house. I knew our idea would work. To me, it was clear that we had a solution at hand that sooner or later the market wanted and that it was just about resistance. In the meantime, the banks made fun of us, but the more we talked about it, the more we found who wanted to help us: from the first collaborators, and now also employees in important roles, to the first group of partners who were a group of clients. Sheila wanted to target the more complex private market and not the B2B market where you talk to the big companies who in turn talk to the commercial companies… We live in an industry where there are many contexts where you depend on someone else, perhaps a big operator like a power provider. The decision is not up to you, you can just wait and hope it is as they say. On the other hand, if you want to consume the energy generated by your solar system and decide to do so, no one can make us wait. In condominiums, this is not easy. It should be instant because, instead, it should be much more difficult to live the old-fashioned way. So, we decided to do the things that we know people really need to speed up this transition. After all, commuting makes up 80% of everyday life from home to work. Vehicle packaging for these trips can be managed locally using energy produced from renewable sources. For the future, we will have to focus on greater autonomy for a home commuting ecosystem. Public infrastructure will develop, but it will not have to be relied upon in all places equally. It is necessary in some places but not so in others. Stica then told us about how the industry has evolved with the advent of electric mobility and what remains to be done at the European level. We are at a time when there was not much incentive even to develop new products. The money comes from Europe. One of the most discussed topics in the press concerns the “damage” of the advent of electric mobility that will rob the Italian auto industry and that will deliver the Italian car to the Asian / Chinese segment. It is undeniable that the Chinese have absolutely incredible experience in this sector, but the European target is 2035. We have plenty of time to prepare our plans for creating our own industry. Many major companies left. The best selling electric car in Europe is the 500 electric car which is produced in Europe and not in China. I can’t bear to see the big companies make the cuts arguing that electric mobility came too fast, when instead they had the time to do it but didn’t invest in a re-conversion. If we look at Volkswagen, the German manufacturer is a European company that has invested heavily in both factory conversion and employee training. According to a recent survey, the number of cars registered for those under 25 has collapsed, and young people no longer dream of owning a car at the age of 18 which means freedom for past generations. Perhaps because young people are changing their approach to commuting and thus waiting for the right car to “generate” electric directly? In the European car market, the average age of the owner is more than 50 years. Without a doubt, over time, these people have witnessed the emergence of a series of financial products in the automotive sector that we are so accustomed to today. However, once, it only made 20-25% of loans while in the past few years it has reached 80%. The closer you are to making a monthly payment with a series of built-in services (such as insurance), the more you come up with the concept of cost-to-use. Meanwhile, many sharing services have arrived, forms of commuting less demanding than having to buy a car. The ownership model, at least for urban mobility, will be increasingly rare. The new generation is already embracing sharing models rather than individual use. This means that the transition to electric mobility could also lead to more sustainable and less consumptive mobility. In fact, by doing a little of everyone without them, we can empty cities of cars. Soon Silla will put on the market a new product that is the complete solution to the problem of how to make the home communicate with batteries, cars and photovoltaic cells. When today you want to equip yourself with everything you need to be as efficient as possible (electric car, storage system, photovoltaic system), the integration is very complex. Imagine the walls of homes with these systems. You can find storage packages, storage inverters, solar inverters, grid gates, electric car chargers, and possibly ups. Seeing walls of this type, we tried to understand whether it is possible to bring everything together by creating a single system that guarantees maximum efficiency. So we set out to do that. We introduced the concept at Intersolar in Munich and are now working hard to bring it to market as soon as possible. What I love the most is the two-way charging because I think it’s the technology that will allow for an extra level of efficiency. The ability to get power from cars for utilities or pass power from cars to the grid when needed can bring enormous benefits. Why 149 (new product name)? 149 is the square of the first 3 prime numbers and is an indication of the proportions of this product: 1 depth, 4 width, and 9 height. Sila has an eye for designing its products. 149 products that are aesthetically pleasing and very futuristic. Sheila will be present at the Paris Motor Show. So we asked Stecca to give us some anticipation as to what they would bring. Certainly the main theme will be the integration of renewable energy production with mobility within the domestic user. In the auto sector, we’ve never before worried about what was at home. If car manufacturers really want to capture a significant market share in the field of electric mobility, they must enter with customized solutions for domestic users. In Paris, we will show, in a context related to the car, how the electronics manufacturer interprets its own concept of the evolving home environment in which renewable energy sources generated on the roof are integrated with the batteries in the car, passing through the entire management of the house.

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