Swedish battery success led to Enequi. Meet Lars Fredriksson – Sweden’s foremost battery entrepreneur.
The story began when the CEO of Gylling Components Lars Fredriksson was visiting Optima batteries in the US. He, the engineer with a focus on electric power, quickly realized the potential for how those batteries. With their high starting current and with a very handy, small size, were very suitable for larger vehicles as tractors – among other things. The negotiations that began with the aim to get Gylling Components to become the European agency, instead resulted in an acquisition of Optima batteries by Gylling Components. In connection with the transaction Lars Fredriksson also changed position and became CEO of Optima batteries.
Large producer in four years
Between 1992 and 1996 under his leadership, one of Europe’s foremost battery companies was built. The annual sales went from 27 000 batteries to 400 000.
“We built up a network of distributors and dealers all over Europe and in other parts of the world. We were became very close friends with most of the battery world “, says Lars Fredriksson.
Optima batteries were also listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s list of small companies – the OTC list.
In 1997, after that trip Lars Fredriksson started the construction of the next battery company, Nilar batteries. Along with Optima Battery’s former chief technology officer Neil Puffer, the focus was placed on nickel metal hydride batteries. Batteries with very high potential since they have a long life span and are recyclable – unlike traditional batteries.
“The first four years we spent in Neil’s cellar in Denver, Colorado, with development. During that period, we worked togheter with, among others – Saab, Atlas Copco and Scania that contributed with funding.“ says Lars Fredriksson.
In parallel with this development, during the years 1996 to 2007, Lars Fredriksson also continued to build the company Gycom – a company that went from 60 million in turnover to 570 million SEK. At that time company operated in the whole Nordic region. The company focused on building automation, which means that it developed and distributed smart solutions for the operation of commercial properties and housing.
Renewable energy creates a new and growing market
Meanwhile, it had become increasingly clear that renewable energy production from the sun, wind and water was the future. At the same time as electric vehicles quickly are getting larger market shares. At this time, approximately 60 000 electric vehicles are driven on the streets in Swedish and before the end of the year the forecast is about 80000 vechiles. A development that creates major challenges for the electric grid and real estates.
“In the long run, the electric grid will fail if nothing is done,” says Lars Fredriksson.
Together with Patrik Hahne at Gycom, the development of what has now become Enequi was created. Enequis system handles several of these challenges by utilizing clever energy balancing in the property, when for example an electric car is charged at the same as the induction hub is in use. You can store energy from, for example, solar panels in environmentally friendly batteries and use it when you want to, and not as it is today only at the time when the energy is produced.
“It’s probably the most exciting thing I’ve done! The business potential is very large, and at the same time we can help solving one of the major challenges that arise when we move to a more sustainable society, “Lars Fredriksson concludes.
Age: 71 years old
Education: Electrical Engineer
Relevant Professional Background: Entreprenuer and founder of several companies
Interests: Forest and nature
Car: Range Rover Plugin Hybrid (first in Sweden)
Home electrical supply: Electric grid, but solar power is on the rise.
Unknown Talent: “Pretty good at painting”