Today, the company is active in, amongst others, high end consumer, renewable energy, healthcare, chargers for port, mining and construction vehicles. A large part of the company's product portfolio consists of made-to-measure charging solutions for public transport companies.
How did you end up in the automotive sector?
Aswin: "Our focus has always been on the development of fast charging and battery solutions for many different types of devices. Our expertise is in that. Shortly after our founding, we ran into a Dutch company that was looking for a smarter automotive charger.
Even though we had never been active in that sector, we had plenty of knowledge and were up to the challenge to provide them with what they needed. And so the Heliox automotive story began."
After their "test" project, word went around. Not long after, Heliox delivered their first charger prototype to VDL, an industrial and manufacturing company in Eindhoven, the Netherlands in 2014. Today, Europe’s largest e-bus fleet (43 in total) in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has been in full operation for well over a year, receiving its “juice” through Heliox' ultra fast charging infrastructure.
Aswin: "At the end of 2017, we built the world's largest opportunity and depot charge network with 13MW of installed power for well over 100 buses at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We are working on several other projects in the Netherlands, as well as in Germany, France, Finland, Luxembourg, Turkey and Singapore.
"And the list goes on. Furthermore, we are not only active in the public transport sector. Currently, we are developing and delivering chargers for construction and port equipment as well as part of automated processes for Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs)."
What are some challenges you are facing?
Aswin: "One challenge is to overcome initial sluggishness in acceptance. Using our chargers in, for example, a large sea port is extremely efficient. You can guide AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) to their charging station automatically, have them connect to the Heliox ultra fast charging infrastructure autonomously, and let them charge without any delay or human intervention.
"Automation is becoming more and more crucial; our power conversion solutions offer exactly the flexibility many operators need. However, in public transport diesel has been king of the streets for decades. You can imagine that bus drivers need additional training to learn how to drive an electric bus, what influence charging has on their work and schedules, and how to show the passengers the extra comfort."