How One of America’s Top EV Charger Companies Started & Its Leader's V — Lectron EV Skip to content

How One of America’s Top EV Charger Companies Started & Its Leader's Vision Ahead

Original Post Date: April 10, 2024
Source: Torque News
Read the full article here

Lectron is a top EV charger company. Here is how the company started with just $15K in capital and what its leader sees ahead for home electric vehicle charging.

One of the very first electric vehicle chargers we tested at Torque News was a portable unit from Lectron. Purchased from Amazon for under $200, that charger served us well, charging up dozens of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt, Jaguar I PACE, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Genesis GV60, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

When we began testing and evaluating EV chargers more formally, Lectron stepped up and offered us the very first test unit for our evaluations, the V Box wall mounted EV charger. Since then, we’ve also tested the portable 40-amp charger, and have even used portable Lectron chargers supplied by Airbnbs in the field when evaluating plug-in vehicles. We thought it would be interesting and informative to dig into Lectron’s beginnings. Here is what we learned about this leading EV charging company. 

Lectron’s Modest Beginnings

In 2015, Christopher Maiwald, a former investment banker, started a consumer tech company with just $15,000 in starting capital. In 2017, Lectron became the third brand of this new company. Lectron was established to provide practical solutions for the adoption of sustainable transportation, offering a range of high-performing and easy-to-use EV chargers and adapters (a.k.a. EVSEs, or electric vehicle supply equipment).


TN - Why did Mr. Maiwald's mind turn to chargers as a business opportunity?
Lectron: Christopher Maiwald identified three critical problems in the EV industry in North America in 2017. Firstly, he observed charging complexity stemming from various charging standards. Secondly, there was a lack of adequate charging availability, leading to range anxiety and compatibility issues for EV owners.

Another significant challenge was the nascent state of the EV industry in 2017, with vehicles shipping in low numbers. For context, Tesla only shipped around 75,000 vehicles in 2016. As a result, manufacturers were primarily focused on OEM business, as it was the only place they could make significant profit. Aftermarket support was almost non-existent, leaving American EV owners with very limited options in terms of affordable, high-performance charging equipment. This lack of aftermarket support further slowed EV adoption.

In response, Maiwald formed a team of industry experts and founded Lectron to provide a full suite of solutions, including home charging stations, portable chargers, and adapters, to break down barriers to adoption and lack of aftermarket support.

TN - What are some key milestones in Lectron's progress toward being a leader in EVSEs? 
 - Launching the first third-party charging adapter for Tesla drivers to access the J1772 charging standard.
 - Offering the only third-party portable Tesla charger in North America designed with a native Tesla charging coupler, eliminating the need for an adapter.
15% of EV drivers in the US own at least one Lectron product, which roughly translates to around 360,000 EV owners.
 - Consistently ranking as a bestseller on Amazon and having strong representation and visibility with major US retailers, including in-store programs at Walmart, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe's, Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, and others.
 - Transitioning from exclusively aftermarket support to becoming a supplier to leading automakers in 2023 and 2024.
 - Lectron has maintained a 95%+ customer satisfaction rate, based on verified purchase review data taken from Amazon, major retailers, and
 - In early 2024, our NACS to CCS1 adapter, began shipping to coincide with legacy OEMs gaining access to Tesla Superchargers.

TN - Where is the future in personal EV charging? What changes will occur to make EV charging easier for owners?
The future of personal EV charging is centered on enhancing convenience for drivers, addressing their core needs of affordability, dependability, and ease of use. Here are five industry innovations we expect to drive this evolution:
1) Advances in-home charging solutions, including bidirectional charging, smart home integration, and AI charging solutions. Currently, bidirectional charging is limited to a few EV models, and accessing its benefits requires purchasing proprietary charging stations and software from OEMs, resulting in high costs and limited adoption. We foresee regulatory changes opening up this technology, leading to lower prices, increased vehicle compatibility, and higher adoption rates.
2) While wireless charging has been proposed and prototyped by some industry sectors, current technology falls short in terms of performance and energy transfer. As of now, wired charging remains the preferred option for EV drivers.
3) Continued advancements in battery technology will extend range and reduce charging times, further enhancing the EV ownership experience.
4) Ongoing standardization of charging connectors and protocols, exemplified by recent adoption of NACS by CCS1. automakers, will streamline charging infrastructure and improve interoperability.
5) At Lectron, we're actively developing the next generation of EV cordsets for all charging standards. These solutions will offer full certification and deliver a significant cost reduction while maintaining high-performance standards.

TN - Does Lectron see the transition to NACS as an opportunity? If so, please explain.
The transition to NACS is a significant opportunity to provide maximum charging options for all EV drivers. Rather than signaling the end of the CCS1 charging standard, it represents a shift towards offering EV drivers the broadest range of charging options possible.
In response, we developed the Lectron NACS to CCS1 Adapter to enable CCS-compatible EVs within the NACS alliance to access fast-charging over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers.
We're excited about the feedback from customers and online reviewers who have experienced the adapter so far. Many have noted that our adapter maintains a significantly lower temperature during high-voltage supercharging when directly compared to other models, thanks to the effectiveness of our integrated safety features.

Lectron's commitment to safety and performance has earned nominations from multiple OEMs to produce NACS to CCS1 adapters for their customers.

Our thanks to Lectron for their input on this overview of the comany and its vision for the future of EV charging. 

Author Notes:

1) This is not an advertisement. Torque News does not accept payments for our coverage of brands, nor does TN accept direct advertisements. Any adverts you see while reading this TN story are inserted by your browser. 

2) Text in italics was provided by Lectron. 

Top of page image of Lectron V Box EV charger by John Goreham. Image of portable Lectron charger in use by John Goreham. Images of CCS adapter and 115 VAC adapter courtesy of Lectron. Image of Christopher Maiwald courtesy of Lectron.

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