Quantron AG was founded in 2019 to pave the way for the e-mobility in the bus and commercial vehicle sector, not only regionally, but also internationally. Quantron AG is already the only full-range supplier in Europe for practical battery and hydrogen-powered e-mobility solutions for commercial vehicles from <3.49 to 44 t as well as buses. Across the partners, they have already placed over 500 e-vehicles on the market. Quantron AG can also electrify new vehicles, but 60 % of the emissions in the life of a vehicle occur during its production. The company has therefore specialized in the use of existing resources and give used and existing vehicles a second, emission-free life (second-life approach).

Interview with Andreas Haller, Founder & CEO of Quantron AG.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Andreas Haller: Quantron AG has created an entire e-ecosystem around the area of e-mobility in order to offer its customers an all-encompassing, individual and transparent service for the integration of alternative drives. The (service) offering ranges from operational conversion and vehicle handover to holistic customer support (Q-Consulting) during the transition to climate-neutral operation. Here, the entire conversion process is considered across all sectors. The basis is the needs analysis for the creation of a customer-specific offer. We also support our customers in the digital area, for example with the Q-Cloud, and in the installation of the necessary infrastructure. The various rental, leasing and financing options as well as the training opportunities for drivers of e-vehicles, complete the service portfolio, resulting in customized overall concepts for an optimal entry into e-mobility.

Another important business unit is Q-Battery. Here we were able to win CATL, the world’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, as a cooperation partner. We are thus focusing on LFP-battery technology, which is completely cobalt- and nickel-free. But we can not only serve large orders. Thanks to the standard components, we also enable individual battery solutions for specific requests. Quantron is an authorized distributor and service partner of CATL and, as an importer, supplies the whole of Europe with lithium-ion batteries and also provides service for them.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

A.H: We are continuously working to expand our product range for our customers in line with their needs and market developments. There is currently a major focus on hydrogen-powered vehicles. One example is our Quantron Energon, a 44-ton truck with a range of up to 700 km, which in the future can be fully integrated into logistics processes in freight transport. The testing of the Energon is scheduled for 2021, with series production expected in mid-2022. With the H2-Daily, we are also offering hydrogen drive in the van segment from 3.49 tons. In the future, there will be solutions for all types of bodies and a wide range of models from different manufactures. The pilot series of the hydrogen daily is expected to be available in Q4/2021, with the series production planned for Q2/2022. Here again the focus will be on existing vehicles that can be converted with the aid of the fuel cell range extender and thus given a second, emission-free life.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.H: We offer micro-e-vehicles like our Q-Elion. Thanks to its compact design, in combination with its variety of attachments and superstructures, it is ideal for the use of municipalities and also logistics companies and airports. From 3.49 to 44 t, we have e-solutions for a wide range of vehicles from almost all well-known manufactures such as MAN, Mercedes, IVECO and, in the airport segment, Cobus. Thanks to the cooperation with Karsan, we can also offer new compact e-busses for urban traffic in the sizes of 5.8 m, 8 m and 12 m – a unique selling point in Europe. To ensure the repair and maintenance of our vehicles, we have access to a Europe-wide network of over 700 service workshops.

Whether for short or long distances, our product portfolio includes battery and hydrogen-powered e-vehicles and hybrid models for any transport task.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.H: The market for commercial vehicles is undergoing a transition towards e-mobility. However, we are still in the early stages, although there are already functioning e-solutions. We prove this every day at our demonstrations and customer appointments. But the transition towards alternative drives is very consulting-intensive. You cannot just put an e-vehicle in front of the customer’s door. The clients are facing entire new challenges. Therefor we have positioned Quantron AG as an all-encompassing system provider to support customers from A to Z in the integration of alternative drives into the company. Bureaucracy also still needs to be simplified considerably and further incentives need to be created to speed up the changeover for companies and thus the environmental effect.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.H: Sustainability in road transport is taking on a key function. Not only have environmental zones and driving bans fanned the issue, for example, C02-free deliveries are being demanded more and more frequently – by end consumers as well as by companies. Local authorities are now also obliged to convert their fleets to vehicles with alternative drive systems. Passenger transport in particular is also a focus for the use of zero-emission vehicles. We see battery-powered e-mobility in the lead for inner-city use and for distances of up to 250 km per day, and fuel cells for longer distances.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

A.H: As a complete system provider, Quantron AG has a high innovative character. One example of this and the time lead over OEMs is our Q-Econic. The waste collection vehicle has already been on Germany’s roads since mid-2020, collecting waste quietly and with zero emissions.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

A.H: The corona pandemic has brought profound changes and unexpected developments for all of us. Of course, there is also a noticeable restraint among companies to invest. And as long as we are not yet moving back towards normality, this phase will continue for a while. Nevertheless, we were able to place 1.3 billion euros in supply volume on the market in 2020 and are very positive about the upcoming months.