Wallbox wants to leverage public programs to promote zero-emission transportation recently introduced by the Biden administration to accelerate its business in the US. The Barcelona-based charger company sees these grants as an opportunity to grow in the country, partner with new charging point operators (CPOs) and increase sales in the public highways segment, which accounted for 12% of its revenue in the first quarter.
In this sense, Wallbox appears on a US government-published list of companies that meet the technical standards of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (Navy) plan and the manufacturing requirements of the Build America, Buy America decree, for which all federally funded Is required. Electric vehicle chargers will be assembled in the country.
“Our Arlington (Texas) plant gives us an advantage that other manufacturers don’t have,” say company sources. These facilities, which were inaugurated last October, allow Wallbox to circumvent protectionist conditions and eventually partner with local CPOs such as Tesla, General Motors or Ford, who will be the main beneficiaries of subsidies. Wallbox doesn’t install chargers on the road, but sells them to automotive groups, energy companies and installation firms that do.
The Navy program is led by the US Department of Transportation and has a budget of $5,000 million (4,622 million euros). Its primary objective is to create a national network of up to 500,000 chargers, which will be installed on major highways and highways. Thus, it guarantees easy access to charging points, encourages employment and supports Joe Biden’s commitment that by 2030 at least 50% of sales in the sector are electric. Currently, there are over three million registered vehicles of this type in the US and 130,000 charging points on public roads.
The Navy’s aid will be implemented between 2022 and 2026 and is comparable to the government-promoted Perte del Vehículo Eléctrico y Conectado (VEC) in Spain, but instead of being assigned to industrial projects, they are channeled through the states. The initial investment will make it possible to electrify approximately 120,000 km of the National Highway System.
Two months ago, Adam Mohabbat, director of public policy for Wallbox in North America, met with Mitch Landrieu, the infrastructure coordinator at the White House; Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm during a presentation of the Fueling and Charging Infrastructure (CFI) discretionary grant program, part of a Navy plan that aims to install charging equipment in schools, supermarkets, parks, libraries or apartment complexes.
In the coming months, Wallbox plans to move production of the new Supernova 180 charger, designed for the US, but which will begin to be manufactured at its factory in Barcelona, Texas. This device, which adds 100 kilometers of autonomy to the battery in seven minutes, will be one of the company’s main assets in cooperation with local operators. Wallbox is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and generated 16% of its income in the US between January and March.