30 Oct 2023
Just six years ago, Daniel Pérez embarked on an unconventional journey into the world of electric mobility. He began producing content online, documenting his experiences with electric cars and charging infrastructure. These weren’t just videos; they were firsthand explorations of electric vehicles and the emerging charging ecosystem in Spain.
Through this content creation, Pérez gained an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by early adopters of electric vehicles. These challenges revolved around the intricacies of charging processes and the glaring inadequacy of charging infrastructure. Yet, little did he know that these experiences would serve as the foundation for something extraordinary.
“I started creating content about electric cars and charging, exploring the landscape. I saw the challenges faced by EV users firsthand, and it became clear to me that there was a tremendous opportunity to improve and expand the charging infrastructure to meet the growing needs of electric vehicle owners.”
A new era
In 2017, Pérez, along with his partner Lorenzo Antolín, embarked on a remarkable journey by founding EasyCharger. This marked the genesis of their venture into the world of electric mobility.
If I can help even one person recognise their value and self-worth and pursue their dreams, then I’ve made a positive impact in their world
Bolstered by initial investments and a strategic collaboration with Nissan, they set out to create revolutionary charging stations. Pérez’s vision was unwavering – to craft charging stations distinguished by their multiple charging points and cutting-edge software. These stations weren’t just about convenience; they aimed to redefine the electric vehicle charging experience. “We founded EasyCharger to create charging stations with multiple points and cutting-edge software. We wanted to redefine the EV charging experience.”
The transformation into Zunder
Fast forward to 2022, and EasyCharger underwent a transformation, reemerging as Zunder. This evolution was more than a mere rebranding; it signified a quantum leap in scaling their vision. Pérez had grand plans – to expedite the deployment of ultra-fast charging stations across Southern Europe. “We establish charging stations that are not only reliable and competitively priced but also equipped with canopies to protect vehicles, solar panels, and state-of-the-art chargers, boasting 400 kW of power,” Pérez elaborates. “Our target for 2025 is to have 500 charging stations, which equates to approximately 4,000 charging points. Currently, we have nearly more than 350 charging points in operation between Spain and France.” As of today, Zunder proudly operates its first ultra-fast charging station in France, with Portugal and Italy next on the horizon. The company has earned the distinction of being the highest-rated independent operator in the ultra-fast charging infrastructure sector.
Reflecting on Zunder’s early days, Pérez candidly acknowledges that the journey was anything but straightforward. The path to securing support was filled with the typical trials faced by startups. “We initiated our journey as a small startup, primarily focused on software development,” Pérez recollects. But Zunder’s growth trajectory didn’t halt there. Pérez elaborates, “We subsequently received significant public funding from national and regional programmes, including a substantial grant from the European Commission in 2023, along with additional support from Spanish national programmes. All this support has empowered us to chart a remarkable growth trajectory.”
I saw the challenges faced by EV users firsthand, and it became clear to me that there was a tremendous opportunity to improve and expand the charging infrastructure
However, Pérez embraces the opportunity to enhance Spain’s growth in comparison to other European nations. “It’s inspiring to see the potential for growth in Spain, and we believe that with the right reforms and a strong regulatory framework, we can catch up to the progress in other countries. We are already making significant strides in France, where we opened our first station a couple months ago, Italy, and Portugal, and we are committed to replicating that success here in Spain.
Pérez also states “we are confident that with the necessary reforms and a sense of urgency, we can achieve the goal of having five million electric vehicles on Spanish roads by 2030. This ambitious target is within reach, and by installing ultra-rapid charging points in just six months instead of two years, we can accelerate our progress and make a positive impact on our nation’s future.”
A commitment to quality
Zunder’s business model is unambiguous and its charging stations, boasting between 8 to 32 ultra-rapid charging points, embody this commitment. However, it’s not just about the quantity of charging points; it’s about their quality. “We set up charging stations that prioritise reliability and competitive pricing, coupled with features such as vehicle canopies, solar panels, and cutting-edge charging technology,” Pérez explains. Pérez’s vision extends beyond merely providing a service; it’s about redefining electric mobility to make it accessible, convenient, and sustainable for all.
Empowering a sustainable future
Daniel Pérez’s leadership philosophy is founded on empowerment and collaboration. He firmly believes that success is a collective effort, where everyone should feel valued and empowered. “You can’t be afraid to lose people by empowering them; they might leave, but you’ll have extracted the best from them during their tenure,” Pérez asserts. He champions extending this sense of empowerment beyond Zunder through mentoring and volunteering. “If I can help even one person recognise their value and self-worth and pursue their dreams, then I’ve made a positive impact in their world,” Pérez affirms.
In a world where sustainability and electric mobility reign supreme, Daniel Pérez stands as an emblem of transformational leadership. His journey from YouTube enthusiast to the CEO of Zunder is a story of vision, determination, and innovation. As the world races toward a sustainable future, leaders like Pérez inspire us to think bigger, work harder, and aim higher. His vision of electric mobility is not just about charging cars; it’s about charging the world with sustainable energy.