Miguel Valldecabres Polop was appointed the new chief executive of EV Dynamics in the middle of the pandemic. He was tasked with a tough mission in a world where mobility is highly limited: internationalisation.
On top of that, the company has its own niche where full-on branding build-up is not a necessity. Instead, it requires a different approach.
"We always mentioned that we are like a private label manufacturer. We do not burn money from investors, developing a brand. That's not what we do. We don't think there's a value on putting a brand in delivery," says Polop. "It's not a sexy business. I mean, if you do a hypercar like a Lamborghini, then building up a brand makes sense."
Valldecabres then spread the word that his company did tailor-made solutions responsive to customer needs.
"We like to do it," he says. "The market needs tailor-made solutions. For example, the people in the Philippines, they say, 'We need an EV solution that takes 25 people that does 80 kilometres a day'. Then we say, ‘We'll make it for you’. That's what we call tailor-made solutions."
EV Dynamics and adapting to target markets
Based in Chongqing, China, EV Dynamics is a prominent provider of EVs and integrated technology solutions. Its sales network is focused in China, Hong Kong, Asia Pacific, and South America - where the most famous EV names do not make much of a dent to emissions.
"We have to create this industry because it just doesn't exist. And we just have to do it in the focus place, and it's not in Berlin, Madrid, or New York, or London. That's not where the problem is," says Polop.
"This is something I keep telling everyone. If you go to Mexico City, there is a problem. There's no such problem in California because everyone has the money to buy a Tesla.
“But in the Philippines, Manila has 40 million people, and 60% of the population uses public transportation. So what's the point of putting an electric bus in Madrid if there are 300,000 EVs operating there already?"
Bimbo Bakeries in Mexico is one of EV Dynamic’s major customers and an example of how the company’s tailor-made customisation works for corporations.
"They have 54,000 vans in operation," he says. "They need very light vans, which nobody was offering them. So we tailor-made a solution for these kinds of companies in Latin America."
According to Polop, the region focuses on small shops that provide fresh products every day, getting the cash daily.
"So Bimbo needs daily to just spread all those 54,000 vans to move fresh bread and snacks, all the different products that they do. They're a huge company. And then the drivers come back with the empty vans with money. That's the way it works. It's a very simple business model," he says.
Developing EV solutions for the operating environment
"Mexico is a complicated place because you have cold areas, and then you have very warm areas,” says Polop. “Of course, the buses don't need a big range because it's super crowded. So we developed two different solutions with two different battery packs and with two different cooling systems."
Bimbo is currently testing their new fleets, which also come with new air systems. EV Dynamics plans to run the same offering for similar businesses in Germany and Spain, but with a different approach in each.
"To build up the capex necessary to produce one unique selling point, the market doesn't need that. The market needs a tailor-made solution. Transporting bread has nothing to do with what a plumber or a carpenter needs. We're talking to PepsiCo in Latin America, and as you can imagine, it's a completely different vehicle," Polop says.
"So the way we're doing it, we're going to the customer. What you need, we will develop it for you. Of course, we use some of the technology that we have on our platforms, but we have to tailor-made a solution for them."
EV Values, motorsport, and racing heritage and values
Polop was involved in the establishment of Formula E at the start of his career. Initially, Polop was part of Campos Racing, a Formula Four team in Valencia, Spain, managed by former Formula 1 driver Adrián Campos.
"I was always involved as a board member in the team, and I was an advisor. And the team evolved a lot. We ended up having a Formula 4, Formula 3, and a Formula 2 team. We even got an entry to Formula 1, which we sold to a third team [owned by Alejandro Agag]," Polop says.
Agag then approached Polop for his new venture, Formula E, eight years ago in Valencia.
"I said I don't have money, I don't have teams, I don't have fittings," says Polop. "But we got the FIA letter that [said] they'd help us. So I was on the board of Formula E for the first four years. I was the first CFO of Formula E."
"Running businesses is not as fun as making it from scratch. So this is where we add value as entrepreneurs," he says. "And for me, what we're doing now in EV Dynamics is something similar to what we did in Formula E, which is creating its own unique value."