• World Biz Magazine

INTERVIEW: ANDREAS HALLER - CEO OF QUANTRON AG


Quantron AG is spearheading e-mobility solutions in passenger and freight transport. Quantron was born from Haller GmbH & Co. KG, a family-owned company that has been in existence since 1882.


Andreas Haller is the founder and CEO of Quantron AG and managing partner of Haller GmbH & Co. KG. Quantron AG was founded in 2019 with the vision of paving the way for e-mobility in inner-city and regional passenger and freight transport. The basis for this is the commercial vehicle experience of Haller GmbH & Co. KG. The family-owned company from Gersthofen is in its fifth generation.


"The importance of diesel drives in commercial vehicles will steadily decline, because only if the proportion of low-emission and zero-emission commercial vehicles increases, will we be able to achieve the future, internationally agreed climate targets. Conversely, this means that sales of classic services and spare parts will fall. Only those who think outside the box today will have a chance in the long term. This is why I founded the Quantron AG."


Tell us about Quantron, your mission and technology.

The importance of diesel drives in commercial vehicles will steadily decline, because only if the proportion of low-emission and zero-emission commercial vehicles increases, will we be able to achieve the future, internationally agreed climate targets. Conversely, this means that sales of classic services and spare parts will fall. Only those who think outside the box today will have a chance in the long term. This is why I founded the Quantron AG. We are the specialist for the electrification of commercial vehicles from 3.49 to 44 tons and buses. We supply new e-vehicles on request, but our focus is clearly on the conversion of used and existing vehicles. Thus we use already existing resources and give them a second, environmentally friendly life. We also have hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles in our product range. Furthermore we are the sales and service partner of Karsan in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. So we sell the new e-busses Jest Electric and Atak Electric. As a sales and service partner of CATL in Europe, we offer standard batteries and individual battery solutions with standard components.


"This background is extremely important and distinguishes us from all start-ups and competitors in the market. With the family business we look back on almost 140 years of experience and know-how in the commercial vehicle business. We didn't have to do extensive market studies in advance, because we know exactly the markets, the customers and also the requirements for the vehicles."



Quantron is a company that has emerged from Haller AG - a company with nearly 140 years in the field of commercial vehicles. How does that background influence your offering?

This background is extremely important and distinguishes us from all start-ups and competitors in the market. With the family business we look back on almost 140 years of experience and know-how in the commercial vehicle business. We didn't have to do extensive market studies in advance, because we know exactly the markets, the customers and also the requirements for the vehicles. We also know what is important for the maintenance and service of these vehicles. So we were able to create many synergy effects and use them positively, especially at the beginning. Both companies will continue to benefit from each other in the future.


What advantages do your solutions offer above other options in the marketplace?

We are the only supplier who electrifies vehicles from 3.49 to 44 tons and also buses of all brands. In addition, we offer all of our customers a fully comprehensive service:

- First we analyse the status quo at the customer: which vehicles exist, which routes are used, which goods are transported...

- We support our customers with the infrastructure and the purchase of sustainable electricity.

- We also offer our customers financing and leasing options. Thanks to the short and long-term rental solutions, a quick and uncomplicated entry into e-mobility is possible to generate new customer potentials. Furthermore we support our customers in the application for subsidies.

- Finally, we train the drivers to ensure the efficient use of the vehicles.

- After the vehicle handover, we naturally take over the service, repairs and maintenance work on the vehicles. For this purpose we have a Europe-wide service network of 700 workshops at our disposal. Added to this is our after-sales-management for optimum customer care.

Within Quantron AG, our customers have one contact partner for everything. We call this Q-as a service. In the future, we will also offer the option of having the driver from us and pay only for the kilowatt hours used.


"Although the Quantron AG has only been in existence for one year now, we have already achieved a number of successes. This shows that we are on the right track, our work is important and it is recognised by politicians and industry experts. At the end of 2019, for example, we were among the top 3 at the Handelsblatt Energy Awards and at two other awards (Smarter E Award and e4 Testival Award) we were among the top finalists. Two major awards are still to come. Here we are in the finals as well."



Despite being a young company, Quantron has already participated in several Awards. Tell us about these.

Although the Quantron AG has only been in existence for one year now, we have already achieved a number of successes. This shows that we are on the right track, our work is important and it is recognised by politicians and industry experts. At the end of 2019, for example, we were among the top 3 at the Handelsblatt Energy Awards and at two other awards (Smarter E Award and e4 Testival Award) we were among the top finalists. Two major awards are still to come. Here we are in the finals as well.


Tell us about your global presence for manufacturing and sales, what advantages made you select those locations?

Through the family business we are strongly rooted in our home country. We also want to support the local economy. Therefore we are building our new office building including production in Augsburg in the Koblenzer Straße 2 (near Munich). Over the next few years, we plan to increase the number of employees up to 200. Our range of vehicles will also continue to grow and our production capacities will be successively expanded, so that we will soon be able to produce around 1,000 vehicles per year in Germany. We are currently setting up a further location with our partner in Turkey. This will bring us to a combined capacity of up to 5,000 vehicles per year. We will also expand our European and international sales offices. So far we are also represented in Norway, Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil and Nigeria. After all, in these countries the need and demand for e-mobility is constantly increasing and is also necessary in order to achieve the worldwide climate targets.


"At the moment, there is a lot of educational work to be done, because the issue of e-mobility is complex. But we feel that the market is changing and companies are open to new concepts and opportunities. Of course, the charging infrastructure and also the generation of sustainable electricity must be further expanded. This is also important for the production of hydrogen. The network of hydrogen filling stations must be expanded significantly too. But we are very positive about the developments and are convinced that we are on the right track."


What are the obstacles to the e-revolution in passenger and freight transport that Quantron is spearheading, and how can your industry overcome them?

At the moment, there is a lot of educational work to be done, because the issue of e-mobility is complex. But we feel that the market is changing and companies are open to new concepts and opportunities. Of course, the charging infrastructure and also the generation of sustainable electricity must be further expanded. This is also important for the production of hydrogen. The network of hydrogen filling stations must be expanded significantly too. But we are very positive about the developments and are convinced that we are on the right track.


From your perspective, what is the best way for Governments to support this much needed transition from diesel power to sustainable transport?

Politics must implement decisions and changes faster. Far-reaching financial support programmes must be created to make the switch to e-mobility with batteries or fuel cells more attractive. At the same time, bureaucracy must be simplified and thus implementation accelerated.


What are the most important ingredients of team leadership for you?

Open and fast communication with quick decisions. We already have practical and working e-drive technology today. For example, our e-Econic waste collection vehicle is already on the road. Our pioneer of the e-truck has been doing its job reliably every day since 2013. Quick decisions and short distances are therefore extremely important to maintain and expand our level of innovation. We also do not see ourselves as competitor to the big manufacturers, but rather as problem solver.

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"The market and customer potential on an European and international level is huge, in Germany alone it is enormous. Anyone who is or will be confronted with driving bans on the "last mile" and higher charges in inner-city and regional passenger and freight traffic, or who wants to switch to sustainable propulsion systems from their own, is our potential customer."



Tell us about some of the most important industries that you are focusing on and why?

The market and customer potential on an European and international level is huge, in Germany alone it is enormous. Anyone who is or will be confronted with driving bans on the "last mile" and higher charges in inner-city and regional passenger and freight traffic, or who wants to switch to sustainable propulsion systems from their own, is our potential customer. This includes, for example, craft businesses, transport and logistics companies, municipal companies such as road maintenance companies, but also waste disposal companies, airports and also bus companies. We not only sell new e-vehicles, our focus is on the sustainable approach of Q-Remanufacturing, the electrification of used and existing vehicles. This makes our customer potential even bigger. The customer does not have to purchase a new e-vehicle. We re-equip their own vehicle. This is an important argument when it comes to financial resources, especially with regard to vehicles with special equipment and / or expensive superstructures.


Why is Bavaria specifically and Germany in general such an exciting hub for innovation and investment?

Germany is one of the best industrial locations in the world and has very good conditions for companies. It is not for nothing that we have often been export world champion. Bavaria is particularly strong in the automotive industry, internet supply and high-performance logistics systems. Due to the large number of industrial companies in Bavaria, there is also a large number of well-trained specialists and managers.


To find out more about how Quantron AG is transforming e-mobility, please visit: www.quantron.net