Interview of Stefan Louis, CEO & CTO, Nexcharge

Interview of Stefan Louis, CEO & CTO, Nexcharge

Q. Why is energy storage/emobility/hydrogen important to you? Why did you decide to venture in this sector? What is the driving factor or inspiration for you to be in this sector?
A. I have been in this sector for 40 years because my parents started a battery company when I was 10 years old. Energy storage enables renewable energy generation which cleans up the Earth and is the only sustainable way of generating power.

Q. What are the important reforms you need from govt and policy makers?
A. The Indian govt is doing an excellent job to support both consumers of electric vehicles as well as renewable energy generation and also supporting the technology manufacturers. This is much appreciated although I do think the industry will need more help as for the change in the world that we are trying to create is such a big change that a lot of help is required. The methodology applied is good but if it’s possible to support more, then that would certainly help and accelerate it even further.

Q. How much important is R&D? your contribution in this?
A. The lithium-ion battery was commercialized in the 90’s by Sony which you can say was 30 years ago. Although that is quite recent in the bigger scale of things, we are still improving the cost of batteries and that can only be done through R&D. So, to find better batteries that can charge faster, store more energy, or offer more range to vehicles we need to do more research & development and that is still very much on.

Q. What is the product line up from your organization, what are your company’s future plans?
A. We are catering to a wide variety of market just like our parent company Exide Industries. It starts with 2-wheeler, 3-Wheeler, cars, commercial vehicles, and busses and in industrial segment it is Telecom, UPS & Data Centre, Microgrids, commercial & industrial, residential ESS, hybrid power generation etc. Within all these segments we are developing a number of products. Our future plans are to be a market leader in lithium ion similar to what Exide Industries is in lead acid batteries.

Personal questions:

Q. The book you will recommend to read
A. Disruptive Innovation by Clayton M Christensen because lithium-ion batteries themselves are not exactly a disruptive innovation but they are disrupting other markets. The way we generate power through solar PV requiring storage, the way we move with electric transportation and also the way we consume power. In the past everything had a cord and had to be plugged in. These days lot of things are cordless whether its your shaver or a power drill or laptops. Batteries have changed the way we consume power and have significantly disrupted the way we live.

Q. What destresses you
A. Everything outside of work. Reading a book, taking a walk in the mountains, having a leisurely drive, doing something cultural, dinner in a restaurant with friends and playing music at times.

Q. Sport/ Movie you like
A. Like watching basketball as it is very entertaining to watch as both teams play in the same arena. I don’t like sports where there is a net or something between the two teams. I like the teams to be amongst each other. Basketball is a fast-moving sport and in a single game you can have as much as 100 points so that really gives a lot of dynamism to watch it.
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