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Redarc sets sights on EV infrastructure

Way of the future: Redarc owner and managing director Anthony Kittel came away from a recent trip to Norway inspired by the country’s uptake and support of electric vehicles.

Aussie charging network a goal for Redarc and Norwegian EV infrastructure firm Defa

General News logo7 Dec 2018

AUTOMOTIVE electronics manufacturer Redarc plans to join local companies such as Chargefox in building Australia’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as part of its strategic partnership with Norwegian EV charging solution provider Defa.
 
Redarc is riding high, having just completed a $22 million upgrade to its manufacturing facility in Adelaide on the back of its burgeoning export business, diversification into the defence and medical industries and annual sales growth averaging 25 per cent over the past eight years.
 
Speaking with GoAuto on the eve of the factory expansion opening, Redarc owner and managing director Anthony Kittel revealed the company’s ambition to leverage its recently announced partnership with Defa to help build Australia’s EV charging infrastructure.
 
“Love to. Love to, yes. That’s the plan,” he said.
 
“They (Defa) have done incredibly well in that they have basically become a major supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Norway.
 
“Not only do they provide the charging stations, they also provide the cloud-based solution for the government to run their network, as well as from a payment point of view. So that’s a full turnkey solution, it’s just fantastic.”
 
Mr Kittel said it was “too early to say” whether the EV infrastructure push would be Redarc-branded.
 
In addition to EV-related technologies, Defa produces vehicle security trackers and trip loggers, 12V battery chargers, electric engine pre-heaters, LED lighting and connected-home products.
 
Mr Kittel told GoAuto the two companies would initially cross-promote each other’s products in their respective markets.
 
“Defa will be promoting our products in their market in Scandinavia, and we’re taking on their products in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
 
The first co-branded Defa/Redarc product is a range of 12V SmartCharger battery chargers that launched this week to complement Redarc’s homegrown range of in-vehicle battery chargers and related equipment designed to support multi-battery setups used in recreational, commercial and emergency vehicles.
 
Mr Kittel was cautiously optimistic when asked whether the partnership with Defa could lead to even bigger opportunities such as becoming a Tier 1 supplier to manufacturers of electric, autonomous and connected vehicles.
 
“I think one step at a time, it’s just that we build a relationship, build the trust, and get some trading under our belt. I think we’ve done really well in a short time we’ve had this partnership together,” he said.
 
“Who knows what the future can hold? The good thing is, I like the fact that they (Defa) is family owned. Pick up the phone to their owner and they talk to me, and it’s a really open, transparent relationship.”
 
In a statement, Defa Group CEO Bard Klungseth said he was “pleased to be partnered with a like-minded and similar organisation”.
 
“Like Redarc, we always seek excellence across every aspect of our business. Redarc’s diverse portfolio delivers market-leading and functional products which complements our own capabilities within this sector.”

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