Who is YHI and what do you do?
YHI (New Zealand) is a subsidiary of YHI International, with operations in 16 countries offering a wide range of industrial power products – from automotive and rechargeable batteries for commercial and industrial use, to EV chargers, solar panels, inverters, and UPS (uninterruptible power supply). Our brands are well-known, and they include Delta, Rolec, Trojan, SMA, Trina Solar, Eaton, Vision, SolaX and the Group’s own proprietary brand, Neuton Power. YHI is also a distributor of the world’s best wheel & tyre brands including Pirelli, Toyo, Nitto, Nankang, Achilles, Enkei, Konig, Mamba and proprietary brands, Neuton tyres and Advanti Racing wheels.
In New Zealand, YHI operates as two parallel divisions; YHI Energy and YHI Automotive, and boasts a National distribution network with branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. These locations are supported by specialist staff in both the Energy and Automotive divisions, allowing a unique level of responsiveness to our valuable customers’ requirements. YHI Energy is responsible for the EV Charging, Solar, Storage, Marine & RV, Battery, UPS, Power Quality, DC Systems and Golf product and services ranges.
How did YHI Energy get into EV charging?
The first step towards EV charging was actually in response to a customer’s requirements; our Divisional Manager, Aaron Gillon, was asked by one of his large utility customers if he knew where to source EV chargers for a fleet of PHEVs. As luck would have it, Aaron had just returned from a trip to the Delta Electronics factory where he was visiting the UPS manufacturing line and happened to see some EV chargers in the same factory. This original enquiry became the very beginning of our journey with the industry back in 2014, and this customer still buys EV chargers from us (and many other products from our range) to this day. The moral of the story? Always ask YHI Energy.
How has the EV range shaped other areas of YHI (New Zealand) Ltd?
We all know that EV chargers require a bit of power, and not every site is lucky enough to have the required capacity. This can often be the crippling factor against electrification. Being a solar product distributor as well, we are seeing a lot of movement toward solar installations off-setting the consumption of EV charging. You don’t just need a roof for solar, we also have solutions for ground-mount and solar as a structure i.e. carports or mass covered parking. The synergy between Solar generation and EV charging is something that we and our customers are very excited about. With smart charging playing a key part in this, the possibilities are vast.
With YHI being a significant player in the Automotive space, we have a direct link to OEMs and Dealerships, not only are we able to supply charging infrastructure to these companies and their customers, but we are focusing on growing the Automotive offering to complement the electrification of the New Zealand fleet as well. On one of the electric cars in our own fleet, the Hyundai Ioniq, we are testing some super quiet tyres by Toyo and plan to release findings to our Automotive network.
Who are your customers?
Our customers include utilities, telecommunications, airlines, banks, electrical contractors, electrical wholesalers, installers, dealerships, retailers, security companies and much more. A large percentage of our customers purchase more than one of our product ranges.
What are your most popular charging products?
The Delta brand for us is very popular, the chargers are all OCPP compatible which means they can be managed & controlled by any OCPP back-end system. This makes the Delta range perfect for smart-homes, fleets and public charging. The Delta 25kW DC Wallbox has surprised us with its popularity; we are getting close to 200 sold in NZ since its release which we are really proud of. The DC Wallbox provides an entry-level rapid charge which allows a top-up when timeframes are tight and being wall-mountable the installation costs are significantly less than other DC chargers on the market. We generally see a mix of one 25kW DC charger for every six 7kW AC chargers in the fleet space, this solution returns a reliable and diverse charging network fit for any fleet.
What’s on the horizon with EV charging?
One of the most exciting upcoming features would have to be ISO15118 compatible cars & chargers. This new standard allows information from the vehicle to be transferred back to a central management system through the charging station. This feature is currently only available with DC charging and supplies limited information such as state of charge and fault finding. ISO15118 allows the transfer of information via AC charging sessions and will aid in a seamless experience for the driver and eliminate the need for RFID or app access. The vehicle has a unique ID which is instantly recognised and verified by the charging stations’ back-end platform. ISO15118 will allow charger management systems to prioritise charge sessions based on the current state of charge and provide valuable information around trends and usage.
The next exciting development brings together two of YHI Energy’s product ranges – solar & EV charging – the V2X Charger. Vehicle to grid or vehicle to home with a PV & storage input. This product by Delta, due to New Zealand for testing early next year is quite simply a game-changer. Think peak shaving, mobile and emergency power at your fingertips, in your driveway. The V2X will change the way we think of and consume electricity at both residential and commercial levels. With some exciting trials planned for early next year, we hope to have this product ready for mass-market in Q3 2020.
We have spent the last 5 years directly involved with some of the country’s largest electric fleets, car-sharing and public charging projects. We have strong relationships with service providers, installers and our suppliers which puts us in a great position to be able to help our customers navigate through the electrification journey. We believe in enabling our channels to confidently talk to their customers about our products and the industry as a whole, and we provide a variety of training sessions to both our installer and reseller networks in support of this. Outside of EV charging, other products in our range such as solar & battery storage often go hand-in-hand. YHI Energy is in the best position to provide a holistic, future-proofed approach to whatever opportunity comes our way.