Taking Responsibility

Finland's TA-Yhtiöt chooses Ensto’s EV charging solutions for the electrical future of its residents.

TA-Yhtiöt, or TA Companies, is one of Finland’s major real estate developers and management companies. The TA portfolio includes office buildings, hotels, and approximately 20,000 rental, right-of-occupancy and owner-occupied apartments.

With so many apartments come parking places, which TA also owns and manages. Although most of TA's residents don’t yet drive electric vehicles, it's clear to the company that EVs are the future. They’re taking action today for tomorrow’s reality.

How TA sees the future

"If we look ahead as far as 2040," says Alexandre Zaitsev, TA's Director of Development, "we see that almost all vehicles in Europe will be electric." By 2030, Zaitsev predicts TA will have around 30,000 parking spaces. He knows these can't be equipped with EV chargers overnight, so he's begun the process systematically.

TA parking spaces are dedicated, and rented by apartment residents. When an EV-driving resident requests a charging unit, TA's team of electricians installs one, plus five other Ensto chargers nearby for future needs. "If there are other residents in the same unit that need them, then they get them," says Zaitsev, “but if no one has requested one, we install five more anyway." It's always possible to reach an agreement to exchange parking spaces when a resident switches to an electric vehicle.

Taking responsibility

To build its EV charging infrastructure network, TA selected Ensto as its partner. Zaitsev says there were three reasons for doing so.

The first is the ability to guarantee quality. “We need to know what’s happening with our real estate,” he says, “and Ensto’s solution allows us to maintain control.” To install EV chargers, TA uses its own installer team and also employs outside contractors, but only those trained and certified by Ensto.

Some of TA’s technicians are also Ensto trained and certified, so they only need to consult the factory for non-routine issues. “We answer directly to our residents,” says Zaitsev, “and if we contract out the service it’s very difficult to ensure quality. With this solution we can guarantee quality.”

The second reason is cost control. “TA Group is obligated to produce a cost-effective infrastructure for our clients,” says Zaitsev. “Doing it ourselves means we can control costs and react very quickly.”

Finally, having full control of its charging infrastructure is in keeping with TA’s corporate ethos. “Using the Ensto EV Manager backend system, we can see exactly how much energy we’re using and calculate CO2 emissions reductions in these stations.” Zaitsev says this isn’t something their residents ask them to do, but rather it’s the right thing to do. “CO2 reduction is part of our company culture.”

Ensto One

The charger of choice for TA is Ensto One. It’s available in 3.6kW (16A) or 7.4kW (32A) with a Type 2 socket as a default. TA’s Ensto Ones also feature the additional Schuko socket, which means internal combustion engines can also use it to plug in for heating. (Note to readers in southern regions: Finland’s winter temperatures are often colder than minus 20 degrees Celsius. It’s common to plug your car into an electrical socket. It warms the engine and helps the engine start in the morning, and prolongs the engine lifecycle.)

Zaitsev says that TA residents drive an average of 50 to 60 kilometers per day. “If they charge at home with Ensto One, then it’s enough for the next day’s driving. And for our drivers it’s also very common to be able to charge at their workplace, plus supermarkets and gas stations. Ensto One made the most sense for our needs.”

Good at listening

Margit Salminen, Ensto’s Sales Manager for EV Charging in Finland, is the one responsible for getting the word out about this product that makes the most sense. She says that when she first met with TA in 2018, Ensto One didn’t yet exist. “I think listening is one thing that Ensto is really good at. We develop solutions according to the customers’ needs, and Ensto One was designed for housing cooperatives like TA. It's lighter, less expensive than other units, and it covers their needs.”

Salminen spends much of her time developing the reseller concept that's been so successful with companies like TA.

Ensto has long-term relationships with many electrical contractors, and Salminen convinces them to expand cooperation. "We develop, manufacture, and provide service," she says. "The contractors sell, install, maintain, and — perhaps someday — will operate the charging networks. We train and certify them. The better they know our solutions, the better they install and sell. This allows us to focus on doing what we do best, which is hardware, software, and services."

Close to home

Since home charging is currently the fastest growing segment in EV charging in Finland, Margit Salminen has her hands full. In Finland's roughly 90,000 housing cooperatives alone, there are around 2.6 million apartments and 1.2 million private homes. They don't all need EV chargers yet, but they soon will.

"These potential customers like the fact that Ensto is Finnish, and that it's so easy to make direct contact with a factory representative,” says Salminen. “They know we’re a stable company that’s close to home.”

In the pictures Alexandre Zaitsev, TA's Director of Development, Margit Salminen, Ensto's Sales Manager for EV charging, and Tomi Turunen, Lohjan Sähkö ja Automaatio's Project Manager. Lohjan Sähkö ja Automaatio Oy, trained and certified by Ensto, was responsible for the electrical installations of Ensto's EV chargers at Miilukorventie, Espoo.