We are pleased to post an article published in Mergermarket of Finantial Times Group on 24 September 2012 about ENESSERE.
Autoelettric seeks EUR 5m for Enessere division, general manager says
“Autoelettric, the private Italian automotive relay maker, seeks to raise up to EUR 5m to accelerate the growth of its Enessere energy division, general manager Alberto Tessaro said.
The ideal investor would be an industrial construction group or architecture firm. Founded in 2009, Enessere produces customised high-end wind generators and hydrogen generators (electrolysers). The energy division is not yet a separate legal entity but it will eventually be spun off from Autoelettric, Tessaro said.
The cash would be used to launch a marketing campaign, develop new products such as smaller wind generators for sailiboats, and establish small branches in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela and India to oversee the work of bricklayers and electricians who will install Enessere systems.
Tessaro noted that Italy lacks the business angels and seed investments required to finance its operations, and Autoelettric has self-financed the Enessere project from the beginning. Competition from Swiss and German peers also affected its ability to raise funds abroad.
Aiming to become “the Maserati of wind and hydrogen energy solutions”, Enessere intends to combine high-end Italian design with green solutions. It mainly targets well-off private individuals as well as companies committed to adopt renewable energy technology.
Enessere developed Hercules, a 5 kW wind generator costing between EUR 45,000 and 50,000; and Andromeda, an electrolyser priced between EUR 40,000 and 200,000 – excluding an extra rack of photovoltaic panels.
Tessaro said that he sees the future of Enessere, also a system integrator, as part of a larger group. He compared the current hydrogen industry to the IT sector in the 1970s, when several components manufacturers competed in the market but no business offered integrated solutions until Apple emerged.
“We have not seen yet vertical integration among manufacturers of hydrogen systems providing small amounts of energy output” Tessaro said. “Our industry needs somebody like Steve Jobs.”
Enessere has developed a close partnership with a H2 Nitidor, an Italian designer and manufacturer of high-pressure electrolysers. This year, it also started a partnership with Singapore-based fuel cells specialist Horizon to market hydrogen-powered applications such as mobile phone chargers and toys in order to raise public awareness on the potential of this technology.
Established in 1984, Autoelettric generates revenues of EUR 5m and employs 30. Exports account for 85% of its turnover. The company manufactures and distributes relays for the automotive industry ranging from 10A to 600A.
In 2006, it formed a joint venture with competitor China-based Shanghai Autotec International Corp., Tessaro said. Autotec owns 60% in the JV, called Autotec Europe, while Autoelettric holds the remaining 40%. Autotec Europe – through Autoelettric – tests and distributes sensors, thermostats and relays produced in China.
The JV helped Autoelettric confront stiff Chinese competition in 2002, when Asian manufacturers flooded the market with relays costing one-third of its own or less than the cost of the raw material for the Italian manufacturer, Tessaro said. He added that relays are becoming once more popular for their applications on electric cars.
Tessaro, 36,earned a degree in business from the University of Trento and worked in London for a year.”
By Riccardo Ghia in Hannover