In this episode of The 2pt5 innovator podcast my guest is Leif A. Stavøstrand, the co-founder and CEO of Evoy in Norway. Evoy is building electric boat motor systems and takes e-mobility to the waters.

Leif A. Stavostrand
(c) Evoy

About Leif Stavostrand

Leif A. Stavostrand is the co-founder and CEO of Evoy which produces electric propulsion systems for boats. He was born in Canada, but grew up on, in and by the ocean on an island in Western-Norway, Svanøy. He was interested in boats from a a very early age. This interest lead him into a maritime career which lead to circling the globe several times. He is an appointed Sea Captain and holds a B.Sc. Naval Architecture and an Executive MBA. In 2018 he put his concern for global warming together with his passion for boating to co-found Evoy with his father – an idea in the making since 2005.

“It would be great if I could go back to that, if I could unlearn what I’ve learned and go back to that, because peace of mind would have been nice, I suppose. But then again, I think me and a lot of our team, we understand, we see that things are going in the wrong way compared to the climate change. Things need to happen, things need to be addressed and also fairly quickly. I have two small girls, they’re six and nine now and I’m really, really quite concerned of what world we’re leaving for them and how this is going to be in 40, 50, 60 years. And how is the world going to look for my grandchildren? And this is something that concerns me quite a bit and that’s also one of the reasons why we started Evoy and why we’re working so hard to make it work.”

Leif A. Stavostrand

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Transcript

This manual transcript was created by podcasttranscribe.com

Klaus Reichert: Thank you, Leif, for taking the time to be on The 2pt5 Innovative Podcast. Please, pronounce your name.

Leif Stavøstrand:  My name is Leif Stavøstrand. It’s pronounced like “life”.

Klaus: Like “life”. Is life important, the meaning of life, important to you because of this name?

Leif: [laughs] Well, it doesn’t mean the same in Norwegian. So it’s not something that I spend a lot of time thinking of, no.

Klaus: Leif, when I look at you in the video, I see some water in the background. I’m really impressed by what I see: there’s a harbor, there’s boats, there’s a fjord or something. Where are you located right now? What do you see, also, when you look outside of the window?

Leif: I´m located here at our headquarters in Florø. It’s a small town, a little bit north of Bergen. It’s right in between the two biggest cities on the western coast Bergen and Alesund. So… it’s a nice place.

Klaus: So you’re in Norway. And Norway is a place that people don’t really grasp. Many people know about it because of the skiing, for example, of the fjords, of the water. And there’s also lots of energy in the ground. There is lots of electricity around. You have lots of electric cars and your company, Evoy, is building electric propulsion systems for boats.

Leif:  Yep. 

Klaus:  So you’re taking e-mobility to the waters?

Leif: Yeah, doing our very best at that. So, yeah, that’s correct, Klaus. So what we’re doing is making electric propulsion systems for boats. It’s a bit… propulsion is a word that not everyone has a relationship to, so we quite often say motor systems or electric motors, although we build a full system. So we deliver the whole thing so that you don’t have to worry about batteries or chargers or screens and those types of things. So we deliver the full package to make any boat electric, electrofit or new.

Klaus: Thank you for taking the time for making this conversation because I know you’re really busy talking to investors, you are around a lot, you fly a lot to places. So thank you very much for taking the time. Some time ago, I saw a picture of you smiling broadly next to one of your giant outboard engines. I understand that you’re mostly building inboard engines and outboards, but again, I had to ask, are you an outboard hugger?

Leif: Mhm. Well, I think from our side we’re a bit agnostic when it comes to inboard/outboard. We see that there’s big advantages with both of the types of propulsion methods. The outboards have had a huge growth now the last 10 years, while if you go 15, 20 years back, there was a lot of inboards being sold, but of course the inboards have a lot of impracticalities, like they are hard to install, they take a lot of room, there are really expensive service on them, and just really the outward simplified things somewhat. So we have seen a large turn towards outboards. With electric boats, we might see a shift back towards inboards because with electric, there’s not much maintenance, so that’s gone. One of the disadvantages with the inboards is that they take a lot of room in the boat, that’s also gone with an electric inboard, so you can just put it nicely below your deck with a flush deck. So it’s not unlikely that we’ll see a shift back towards inboards but electric, actually. So I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m an outboard hugger in that respect, no.

Klaus: [laughs] I didn’t want to sound it disrespectfully. It was just such a nice picture. You seemed so happy next to this outward engine and it was just a great picture .. inboard engines. And I mean, we’re talking about things right now that many people don’t really have a… can imagine, can picture that. I’m very much into watersports and sailing and stuff. And I know about these big engines that you use in normal boats or gas-powered boats. If you compare something like that to your electrical motor, what’s the size difference, approximately? How much smaller is it?

Leif: Well, the motor itself is quite significantly smaller. So what’s, maybe, the most natural to compare it to is the diesel engine since we have a comparable torque to a diesel engine, so I think quite a few notes about Volvo Penta, which is a big player in the market. So our inboard hurricane motor, which is a 400 horsepower continuous or up to 800 horsepower in peak, will be a comparable motor to the Volvo Penta D6 series and they weigh 600-650 kg, around there. And the electric motor that we have weighs around 150 kg. So you shave around 500 kg on the motor. 

Klaus:  Wow! And also lots of volume.

Leif: Yeah, for sure. If it wasn’t so darn heavy, you could carry it around [laughter] size-wise. So it’s quite neat, it’s only half a meter long. And that’s one of the really neat things about going electric, it’s that the dry training is quite a bit smaller.

Klaus: Mm-hm. We drive a Volkswagen ID3 and you barely see the place where the motor is, it’s just hidden somewhere under the boot. And that’s fascinating actually. Yes, you have to have some extra stuff like the charging charter and the air-conditioning unit and stuff like that. But the actual motor is gone. It’s just not existing anymore, from a driver’s perspective, from a user perspective. And it’s also very, very… you don’t hear any noise, or hardly any noise. When I look at the videos that you post on your facebook page with you going around on one of your boats or customer boats, you hardly hear any engine noise. How long did it take you to get acquainted with that?

Leif: Well, actually, it goes very, very fast to get used to no sound. [laughter] And actually, I was a bit surprised myself. It’s… after a little while you don’t really think that much about it anymore, You just get used to it. But then, if you drive internal combustion engine later, then you get a shock. That’s when you really realize the difference between the two. So it’s definitely a different world. And then at that point, you also realize how lucky you are to drive around without sound. But of course, like a founder of these systems, it’s not always that easy to actually enjoy the quiet because as we’re driving -we’re only three years old- you’re always listening to the motor, if everything sounds fine, if the water pump come out-come on at the time it’s supposed to, if the fan’s coming on when it’s supposed to, if there are any mechanical sounds that shouldn’t be there, so… But I think everyone else using the boat is absolutely loving it. So that’s for sure. There’s a big difference going to electric with boats, for sure.

Klaus: It is such an easy thing also to transform an existing gas or diesel powered boat into an electric boat I suppose, especially if you have an outboard engine.

Leif: Yeah. The retrofits are fairly straightforward. There’s a few components that need to go in, but all in all, it’s a fairly easy job to do. The biggest challenge is, of course, to place the battery. That’s not always straightforward. Sometimes you have to do a bit of rework, if it’s a retrofit, but when we talk to new boat builders, they usually have to do a few adjustments and then they’re there, so that’s also quite manageable the way it is now.

Klaus: And I suppose they kind of love it not to have to take care of gas, and gas leaks, and stuff like that. I have read, Leif, that you had boat pictures in your children’s room when you grew up instead of, like, Lamborghini pictures. Is that true?

Leif: Yeah, that’s true. I’m not quite sure where it came from, but I suppose I grew up in a family that had… on an island, we were on the ocean anytime we could, fishing or what not. My parents worked in fish farming and there was just a lot of focus on the ocean. So for some reason, well, maybe not so surprising, I… instead of being interested in cars and such, it was more boats that was on my mind. And I remember I actually had a scrapbook that was meant for photographs -this was when we actually had physical photographs- I remember the scrapbook that I filled with boat pictures. And at that time I found it very fascinating to look at… looking at different boats and comparing them. So I used these boats selling magazines and just cut out the boats that I liked the best and I put it in the scrapbook and I was having a good time with that. So I don’t know, I was maybe in kind of an odd hobby, but today I’m glad that I have it because I’m just, it’s very natural for me to let… for instance, when we talk to boat builders, I can always relate quite well to them just because of my hobbies and my interests.

Klaus: Mm-hm. So you have a long maritime history. You’re actually… you have grown up around the sea, boats were very important for you. It was part of your decision to choose a job and get into a work-life that is centered around boats. So you really know what to say, when you’re talking about boats, motors and stuff like that. And boating.

Leif: Well, I was… growing up in a small place, it’s a fairly tiny island, I’d like to say, south of Florø, where we live today. And we were just a hundred people out there and I guess there was some adventurousness somewhere inside me. I want to get out and see the world and I saw the opportunity to go sailing around the world with merchant ships and I chose that path. And it was… it has been… and it was a really interesting part of my life. It seems just like a distant dream now, but it was… for me it was the right path. I had to go all the stages: I started as an apprentice on deck on a fishing boat for a couple of years, and between there I went to the Coast Guard and worked there. So that was two opposites: a fishing boat and Coast Guards. They quite often chase each other, kind of thing, so it was kind of a funny opposite. I went on to the Captain School, that took two years, and did some sailing on different types of ships there and then I went back to sailing to get enough sea time to release my next steps of certificates. So there’s quite a few steps that you have to go through to get up to the level of Sea Captain. So altogether, I guess, it took me about 17 years to get to that level from the decision point,

Klaus:  Wow.

Leif:  I feel old when I say that. [laughs] 

Klaus: [laughs] You could also say you feel “pro” now.

Leif: [laughs] Yeah. No, it’s… it was a different time in a different life in many ways, just sailing around the world. I had periods where I was sailing three and four months at the time. We were all over the world. A lot of South Africa, North America, we were in Africa, of course, a lot, a lot in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, so all around the place. So I was… very, very interesting times and also quite challenging, being on those big chemical tankers is… it takes a lot of knowledge to run those ships. That was very interesting.

Klaus: Mm-hm. There’s also a level of… oh, what’s the word? A level of… like accountability that is hard to imagine for people that have not experienced that at all.

Leif: Yeah, for sure. There’s some risk there to also have been in several fires, which have been not the best experience. And there’s… that’s the thing, if you’re crossing oceans, then you’re kind of alone. I can remember one of the times I crossed the Pacific, we didn’t see a ship in 30 days. So that’s things that you can experience and then certainly you get a lot of time to think about your own life and everybody else’s, I guess, and it’s an interesting experience to have for sure. But I think after being kind of isolated for so long with so little interaction, this was before we had internet on board, that was before we had newspapers and those kinds of accesses. Maybe… I think I felt like I became a little bit weird [laughter] so it took a bit of time when you got back home to just get back into things, I guess. But I hope the worst of that is gone by now.

Klaus: Was that a situation that also allowed you to think about electric propulsion on boats? Because as I understand you’re thinking about electric motors for boats for a long time. You started a company, Evoy, three years ago, but the project, the idea is so much older for you, is much longer with you.

Leif: Yeah, for sure. It was the mid-2000s, I think it was 2005. At that point I was sailing around the world and then every now and then I had time off and I went home, and my father is an inventor -he has been working with that the past 20-25 years- and, I mean now and then we would sit down and we usually had a Teacher whiskey or two and we just talked about different solutions that interests us. And there’s one time we were talking about a boat that we’d been talking about a few times and then we figured out we want to have really slim holes in the design that we were looking at and you couldn’t fit anything normal in there. But then we thought of what if we put an electric motor in there, that would be really neat. And we started looking at electric motors and the thing grew… interest just grew and grew and we understood that this had a lot of advantages. But we also saw that the batteries were kind of unmature at that point, and the market was probably a bit unmature. So time went on. We saw Torqeedo came to the market and I thought “this is great: finally somebody that’s coming with the solution that can fit us,” but till this date, Torqeedo stayed below 100 kilowatts and we wanted a bit more power than that. So in 2017 we decided that… “All right, how hard can it be? Let’s do this.” [laughter] 

Klaus: [laughter] And it was hard. 

Leif: It was really hard. [laughter] To be honest, I’m not sure I would have done it again if I knew what I got myself into. But I think sometime in the future I will be happy that we did it.

Klaus: It looks very impressive what you have realized so far. It’s not just the motors, the outboard motors, the inboard systems, it is used cases… You have an online shop, you allow people to… it’s like… it’s a really smart but simple to use e-commerce solution that you have realized with your online shop that allows to configure a system and fully configure an order  online. And I think that I was really impressed by that. That is very difficult to do, something like that.

Leif: Yeah, thank you. Well we had to try to find some way to make it easy to understand what this was all about. We were getting… about two years ago, we were just getting swamped by emails and phone calls from all over the world. We were really, really struggling actually because if I don’t feel… I really dislike not answering and follow up people that tried to contact us. But it got to a point where that was really quite impossible to follow up, the amount that came in, of interest. So we had to do something. The idea for a configuration came up and we decided to do it and what you can see now is still fairly early versions of what we can do and what we want to do with the configuration, but at least to start, and it answers some of the questions that we got a lot of before: so what’s the range, what’s the price, what’s the weight, all these basic things…

Klaus: Mm-hm.

Leif: …and then in the end, if somebody is interested to know more, then they can either let us know if they want to purchase the system or they can press a button to keep updated on the systems that we have under development that’s not ready for the market yet. So it’s certainly been working well for us. And on the back side, what you don’t see is that we have a system picking up all the information that comes in and taking care of the people that put in their wishes so that they can be followed up in a good way in the months and years to come.

Klaus: So you experience a lot of people, a lot of interest in your product, also. Are people skeptical? So I experienced many people are very skeptical about batteries and electric cars and stuff like that. They just… I sometimes think they’re just afraid of the new. Do you feel something like that also with boats?

Leif: Well, of course it’s a human… it’s natural for humans to be skeptical of new things. Always. It’s in our DNA and in our blood that something… that’s natural for all of us to think to a lesser or a bigger degree. And of course that’s fully understandable. But we’re sitting here in Norway, we have the highest electrical car density in the world. Now the sales are steady, around… between 60 and 70% of new car sales is electric and there’s been an enormous… yeah, there’s been a lot of people that had to learn a lot about electric in the last 10 years. For a lot of people now there’s no doubt, this just works. It’s better in every and each way. Going back to internal combustion engines right now seems very odd. That would be going back in time, so to speak. So the boat, boating world and maritime world, that’s been hanging a bit behind for several reasons, one of the reasons is that boats need a lot more energy to go through the water than the car needs to roll, so you need bigger batteries to get the distances that you want to go. There has been a fantastic development there. So now it’s getting good enough for many, not for everyone, but it’s getting good enough, the range, for many. And also, of course the prices have been really high, but that’s also getting more manageable, at least for those that use the boats a lot. If you’re only out 10 hours a year and want to go fast, gasoline and diesel is still your best option, I’m afraid.

Klaus: I look a lot at boat tests and stuff, and people talk about the range of the boats and they say, “Oh, you can get 1000 nautical miles with this on a single tank” and stuff like that, and then they talk about the twin engines with both two… twin, two times 600 horsepower or something. And at some point of time they say “That’s about 2000 liters of diesel that we burn for these 1000 nautical miles” or whatever, right. And then I always ask myself, “do these people imagine what kind of CO2 is produced in that time frame or how much oil has to be produced and taken from the ground, simply for an hour of fast driving in a boat? And I guess people just don’t think about it yet.

Leif: No, it’s… We are quite early. And we understand. To be honest, in many ways, I wish I never had this idea because I love to be on the ocean and it would be fantastic just to use a big diesel, gas boat and not even think about what’s coming out the back of the boat. It would be great if I could go back to that, if I could unlearn what I’ve learned and go back to that, because peace of mind would have been nice, I suppose. But then again, I think me and a lot of our team, we understand, we see that things are going in the wrong way compared to the climate change. Things need to happen, things need to be addressed and also fairly quickly. I have two small girls, they’re six and nine now and I’m really, really quite concerned of what world we’re leaving for them and how this is going to be in 40, 50, 60 years. And how is the world going to look for my grandchildren? And this is something that concerns me quite a bit and that’s also one of the reasons why we started Evoy and why we’re working so hard to make it work.

Klaus: Starting a company is already something very, very special, but working, like, on early electric outboard engines, starting an outboard electric engine company for boats, that is really far out and much more difficult than other startup ideas, I think. So, thank you very much. 

Leif:  Yeah, we’re doing our best. [laughs] 

Klaus: [laughs] By the way, you had the idea, but did you know a lot about electricity, about amps and watts and whatever?

Leif: I have always had an interest. I went one year at a high school here in Norway. In Norway you can choose two paths: you can either go the academic path or you can go the work path and I chose to go the work path where you got trade training. So one of the first years that I did that was for electrical training, so that was to become an electrician and then I went off and did the CC career instead. So that means that I kind of got the ideas of it, just how it hangs together, how you understand what’s the amps compared to the volts and the watts and all these things and how it hangs together. But I’m not at all an expert so I’m quite dependent on having high skilled professionals around me, but at least I have understanding enough to ask the critical questions and I think that’s a lot of… that’s a clue, really, to be able to understand enough to ask critical questions about how we’re putting things together.

Klaus: And then it helps you also to select the right people with the right expertise to work, to do the real work and put things together in a way that is required for commercial grade systems, also.

Leif: That’s for sure. No, I’m not claiming to be an electrical expert. I’m actually an expert of nothing. I’m a Jack-of-all-trades and I think maybe that’s also my strength because I’ve been in management positions for the last 20 years leading people and I hope and I think that’s maybe my strength.

Klaus: Lief, you, like, first, in a way, you started very early with electric propulsion systems for boats, you started doing, like, an unofficial speed record for electric boats and now you have installed the first maritime supercharger, so congrats for that. How is that doing? How are you…? Are you happy with the system and how it works for your boats and for your boating experience, also.

Leif: We use it every day. It’s quite astonishing, actually, because the Evoy one that we still use and use for testing purposes in laboratory, like testing new things, we also use it for demo activities and we take people out on the water and all that. So it’s a different world for us so that the AC charger that’s on board the boat, charged with 10 kilowatts, so normally you would use around 80% of the battery, the battery is 100 kilowatt/hours, so you use about eight hours to charge it up. Now, if we have to charge the battery 80% we do it in less than half an hour. So it’s  definitely…. it’s a game changer, for sure. So along with our partners, we plan to build out these superchargers along the coast here in Norway so that anyone with an electric bill can go as far as they want when they want. So that’s the vision for building out the network.

Klaus: So you are cooperating with, like, an energy provider in Norway to build a supercharger network for boats in Norway.

Leif: Yes, we did look into building, and all on our own and owning, having a proprietary to us, but we… one thing that we’ve seen in Norway, that’s quite spectacular, that I did not foresee going even five years back, I think, and most of my fellow electric car friends, maybe, would think the same. We thought that Tesla‘s proprietary charging network would be an enormous advantage to them. But you can see in the sales number here in Norway now that actually they are getting dwarfed by a lot of the other carmakers. So Volkswagen, Ford and a lot of the other carmakers are really… they’re passing Tesla on the sales numbers here in Norway and I think it has to do with a lot of things, but I’m surprised that the charging network that’s proprietary to Tesla is not a bigger advantage to them. So it’s something that we also take into account when looking at charging networks from our side. So rather than spending a lot of money building the charging networks that will take a lot of time before you get the money back from, then we find partners that we build the charging networks with in Norway and in other countries and regions.

Klaus: That sounds very, very smart.

Leif: Well, time will tell. [laughter] Best laid plans,eh?

Klaus: [laughs] When I look at Evoy, I read a lot about an irresistible boating experience. These are the words, I suppose, taken from your website and you accelerate the transition to a sustainable boating and I think that’s a really thick plank to work with. No, that was a German expression. [laughter]

Leif: [laughs] I like that expression. That’s a good one. I know… I think I understand what it means.

Klaus: [laughs] So it’s a, it’s a big chunk of thing that you’re working on right now. So it’s good to focus on something like that also to deliver a good boating experience.

Leif: Yeah, for sure. And a lot of our team, quite a few of our team, is actually working on the software side. I think it’s going to… because once the motor is there and you get used to the lower sound, you don’t really think that much about it anymore, like I mentioned before. So I think having the best possible user interface, both in the screens and the speed control, the throttle and all those things are going to be very, very important. Having also the ecosystem around and having the apps that’s really good, giving that really good connected boat experience. It’s going to be very important for our boat users in the future. No doubt about that.

Klaus: There’s all sorts of electronics on boats now with a single display, touch screen displays integrating all sorts of things or dials that used to be separate dials into one single screen. And I like that development because it’s bringing… giving an experience that you’re used to from your smartphone, from your ipad, from your car. And it also gives more possibilities and possibly also more security to boating, especially if you have integrated navigation systems and stuff like that.

Leif: For us it’s important that the experience is quite integrated, that right now our screens have both navigation and all the safety features built into the screen. And we probably… we’re looking into going in different directions. We’re gonna test going screen-less so there might not be a proprietary screen in.. with our systems anymore. So you would just use an app that’s connected to your system. So we’re looking into quite a few different scenarios and paths on making them, the user experience, as good as possible. So, you haven’t seen the last from us yet.

Klaus: You said that it is quite expensive at the moment to purchase batteries for example, or big batteries cost big bucks, let’s put it that way, at this point, a situation that is going to change. But your website also shows like the lifetime savings in Euro & CO2 over a certain long term view. Does that make it more possible, or probable, that these systems are used on work boats and boats that are used a lot during the year, maybe possibly every day, several hours, instead of like fun boats, pleasure boats?

Leif: Well, it’s a very important point and it’s also why we have focused so much on commercial boats, now to begin with. And you can just imagine like… in Norway, at least, a private boat or a leisure boat would go, typically, maybe around 50 hours per season. And then, of course, in Norway we have cold winters, so you bring your boat up and you put it in your boat house or in your boat hotel. But for commercial users like harbor, military, fish farmers, fisheries and all of these things, they go out every day of the year. So instead of 50 hours per year, you might have 500 or 1000 or 1500-2000. We’ve seen numbers above 2000 hours per year. And for somebody using the boat that much you have a return on investment that’s really, really quick. So due to the usage costs and the maintenance costs, that’s between 60 to 80% lower, sometimes even higher, you have the return on investment that’s really fast. Sometimes we see it below five years. We’ve seen examples that’s below one year. So they earn back going electric in a quite short time.

Klaus:  Wow, that’s impressive.

Leif: Well, it’s a great thing going electric just because you don’t really have to worry about what the gas meter says anymore because it’s almost… at least with the energy prices we have in Norway, it’s… you don’t really have to think about what it costs to use the boat anymore.

Klaus: Yeah. And also if you have a small engine -I know that is not your focus- and big solar panels, there might be a way that you get away without any plugging into a short power at all. And something like that, I think is really, really fascinating. I mean, we’re far away from having that for strong boats, work boats and stuff like that, but that is a very fascinating vision to have, I think.

Leif: Yeah, for sure. And, and we’re looking a lot into different types of energy and energy storage. We’re looking at ammonia, we’re looking at hydrogen, we’re looking at different types or ways to do this. Sun panels are also quite interesting, of course. One thing to look at it, one thing is putting your solar panels on your boat, but there’s also ways to integrate solar panels into your dock, as an example, or your boat house. So there are a lot of ways to potentially go off the grid, so with electric bills.

Klaus: Will there be one of your next, like, corporations to develop possibly, like, solar power docks or stuff like that? Is there, like, a partner on the horizon?

Leif: [laughs] I can’t give out all my cards, [Klaus laughs] but I would be… it would be strange if we didn’t look at it, to say it like that. [laughs]

Klaus: Right now, you are doing propulsion systems and you’re working with people to create… or with shipyards to create the optimal boat for that system. Also, you’re cooperating with lots of other companies around boating, around charging, around all these things. Do you also have plans to do, like, a boat club, like a boat sharing type of thing?

Leif: We haven’t ruled it out in any way. We’re quite… we’re careful on what we start on because focusing is very, very important in a startup company. If you try to go too wide and chew over more than you can bite, you can run into troubles quite quickly, but we always keep our door open for new things to look at and boat sharing is coming extremely fast now in a lot of the markets. So we do have a cooperation with an Armenian company called Kruser and I don’t think it surprises many if we say that we have a dialogue with many of the others as well. And for them it’s really, really interesting to look at electric, of course, because they have high run hours per year and it would take a lot of weight from a lot of their troubles going electric. So that’s really also a segment where it’s quite natural to look at electric boats.

Klaus: Your startup, Evoy, is a startup that’s three years old. I suppose you’re looking into investments also, you’re looking for investments. Is that… are you on the search right now? Do you need anything in terms of startup support investments and stuff like that at this moment? Is that officially…?

Leif: Well, we were really, really lucky. We applied for a U. Green Dealer grant and we got it last summer. So we got €2.3 million through that. And there was also an equity part of that, which is now €4 million. So actually, as you mention it, we will be going into a funding round this fall, and with the goal of closing this year. So it’s a natural path for the startup company, because you have to staff up and do all of the R and D before you have the turnover. So it’s a… we do have turnover, but it’s not enough to make ourselves self-sustainable in that matter. So yes, we will be doing a so-called series around this fall.

Klaus: I will put your contact information in the show notes so that people who are interested can contact you also. I understand you have a Norwegian-Canadian background. How do you think that affects the way you look at things or you perceive things around you?

Leif: Yeah, I’m not sure. Of course I grew up in Norway and that’s heavily embedded in my being, I guess, but, of course, my mother was Canadian and it gives maybe a bit of a wider perspective on things, I think, because it’s very, very easy to get very interested in what’s right in front of you and maybe not seeing the big picture. So I think that’s helped me become maybe more visionary or… I like to think that I’m good at thinking out of the box, so that might have definitely been a part of that.

Klaus: We have talked about the past and the present of Evoy. We have heard about your own personal past, which I think is fascinating. What’s the future holding for you and Evoy?

Leif: Well, it’s… you know, I’m not better at looking into the future than anyone else, but we see some big trends that can give us an idea of where this is heading. So I would say that we’re in a… and I think some would support me that way, into an electric megatrend all over the world. Everything that can be electrified is electrified and scooters and bikes are now, percent-wise, extremely high on the electric side. Electric cars are going to come as a bullet in the years to come. They say in 2025-2026 the electric car will cost as little or less than gasoline cars. And, of course, we’ll see the same happening on the water and at sea. We’re not always so good to look in 5-10-15-20 years’ perspectives, but this is certainly the way it’s going. There’s no stopping it. So I think the timing of Evoy is good. Sometimes I feel like we’re too late. Sometimes I feel like we’re too early. So I think maybe our timing is fairly good. So now it’s a matter of… but it’s also tough, right, because as we are the first one in the market using a high output system for boats, we kind of have to open the market for everyone. So we have to explain to everyone how this works and how things hang together. But I think with the interest and with the trajectory that we have now, we’ll slowly but surely make this spin up and running and we want to be a significant player in this market for the years and decades to come.

Klaus:  Leif, one last question. What does energy, what does electricity mean to you personally?

Leif:  Well, it’s… I have it as one of my main interests. I’ve loved this topic since a young age. I think the micro part of it globally is very, very interesting to see and see how it affects the lives of people, how it affects how we live. And it’s really fascinating to see the different types of ways we choose to energize our population around the world. I went to Singapore some years back and I was shocked to see that a country of five million people was mainly supported by diesel driven generators for me coming from Norway where it’s the opposite way around where everything is hydropower. That was astonishing to see. It’s also interesting to see what’s developing around nuclear power and the shifts of the moods there, which is not always scientifically based. So there’s a lot of things happening around electrification around the world, both upstream and downstream. So it’s a very, very interesting place and space to be in for sure.

Klaus:  Life, I’m very excited about your company and about your systems. I think you are at the very right time. It looks like very, very good timing for you and many people are thankful for what you and Evoy are doing, and are preparing, also, even if it might seem to be a bit difficult once in a while. But that’s part of an innovator’s life, right?

Leif:  [laughs]

Klaus: So good luck with all these endeavors and thank you very much for being part of The 2pt5.

Leif:  Thank you, Klaus. Thank you for having me.

“Things need to happen, things need to be addressed and also fairly quickly.”

Leif A. Stavostrand

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Host of The 2pt5 Innovator Podcast - Innovation Coach in #TheLänd Baden-Württemberg in the Southwest of Germany Website / Twitter / LinkedIn

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