Just a few years ago, the use of electric vehicles was still on the rise, but recently they have exploded in popularity. Now, it’s common to see many electric vehicles out on the road and the need for easily available DC fast chargers to power them has become paramount. So how can we harness our existing infrastructure to keep up with the rapidly growing popularity of electric vehicles? Cincinnati-based EdgeEnergy has the solution, with technology that uses the existing power grid to install fast chargers.
“We began with our core technology, which is a mechanical solution,” said Ben Morris, vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s a large horsepower single-phase electric motor that turns a three-phase generator. That, combined with software we’ve designed, allows it to communicate with a charging station. The next evolution of that technology is digital. We’ve now moved to a solid state digital converter that allows for a larger kilowatt output and generates more power. It allows us to serve larger charging stations, have an integrated battery and provides bidirectional charging for distributed energy storage.”
With their technology, the company can save states, municipalities and site owners millions of dollars, but that’s not their ultimate goal. EdgeEnergy wants to promote electric vehicle accessibility for all and eliminate range anxiety, so that people around the country are confident with their ability to easily charge their vehicle.
“The biggest thing we care about is equity and the ability to make sure everyone has access to an electric vehicle as part of the future of our economy and environment,” Morris said. “Electric vehicles are not just for cities or folks that have certain income levels. Our product allows you to put charging infrastructure wherever you want it to be. If half the country doesn’t have the right power grid to install charging stations, we want to fix that problem to increase EV adoption and reduce carbon emissions.”
Currently, the company is getting ready to close a $3.5 million round of funding, capital which they plan to use to scale their business. Part of that growth includes a ramp-up in manufacturing and the movement of their products from the research and development phase to the market.
“We have a market-ready product that’s moving out the door and a pipeline of customers, so the investment allows us to bring in the inventory needed to manufacture our product and scale our business to meet demand,” he said. “As we’ve moved into the marketplace and established channel partners, the need for our product is actually larger than we initially anticipated. We’re shifting the paradigm towards electricity as fuel, instead of something that just powers light switches in our home.”
EdgeEnergy is well positioned for that paradigm shift. Intel, whose chips the company uses in their products, is building a manufacturing facility right up the street. And Honda’s recent announcement only solidifies that Ohio is the best place for the company to capitalize on the converging electric and auto industries.
“Ohio is quickly becoming a center of technology development in the U.S,” Morris said. “The coasts are no longer the home for a lot of that technological development. Cincinnati specifically has a burgeoning tech startup community that’s always growing. Ohio has a really great future in tech and the EV industry that’s not just about bringing businesses here, but also about creating a viable environment for those businesses to grow and thrive in Ohio.”