Walter Mennekes’ desk is huge. It’s big because he needs a lot of space for the many small, large and medium-sized plugs that he keeps lying around, for inspiration’s sake. Because that is his job: To develop the right connection for each and every plug. Mr. Mennekes, grandson of an electrician, heads the company, Mennekes Plugs, based in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Their motto is “plugs for the world” and clients include the auto industry, airlines, power plants and the military.
“Plugs, that’s us,” as Mr. Mennekes himself says.
His biggest coup to date had been the invention of the adapter that connects electric cars to a charger, a cardinal piece of technology in electricity-powered driving that is now happening on roads all over Europe.
Mr. Mennekes has acquired a reputation for ingenuity and, thanks to the plug he invented, known as the Type 2 or the Mennekes plug, he and his family firm look to gain much from the auto industry’s desires to grow the electric car market.