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⚡ Solutions for the Large Scale Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

My Climate Journey

Photo by J Dean / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Jason Jacobs
Guest: Neha Palmer | CEO | TeraWatt Instructure
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[4:03] “TeraWatt is a company that's been purpose built to develop large scale EV charging infrastructure focused on fleets. When you look at the need of […] fleets of EVs, you often have many vehicles charging at once. You often have larger scale vehicles, so medium heavy duty vehicles. And that requires a level of infrastructure that really hasn't been built yet. Many of these vehicle classes are just rolling out and getting production started right now. But we know that in the next 12 to 18 months, there's going to be a significant number of new vehicles hitting the market. So TeraWatt was really developed to provide some of those solutions. Kind of the stack of solutions, as we see it is you need a site, you need a large amount of grid interconnect to bring that power to the site, you need on site infrastructure, like the chargers but also things like behind the meter storage, on site generation. And then you need the services to manage it all, you need charging services, you need energy management, and TeraWatt really is here to provide that full stack of services for fleets wanting to electrify.”

[13:03] “What we see right now is that the total cost of operation for electric vehicles in the medium and heavy duty class is already positive if you are going to electrify a vehicle. There may be a slightly larger upfront cost for that vehicle, but the maintenance and wear and tear on the vehicle tends to be a lot less with the EV compared to a traditional ICE Vehicle, very true for medium and heavy duty class vehicles. And if you're running a business and have a fleet of vehicles and think about that total cost over time, certainly there's going to be an economic driver for that transition to happen.

[20:46] “They're just developing what they call the one megawatt charging standard, which is what you'll probably need for some of these class eight semi vehicles. Some of the chargers of the size that you would want to charge a semi truck quickly, haven't even been designed and built yet or they're kind of in the R&D phase.

[21:59] “What we need to be thinking about for charging […] all of the vehicles that are coming to market is not even 10X, it's 1,000X in terms of [the] infrastructure on the ground today, and what we're going to need 24-36 months from now. Public charging has been truly focused on the passenger vehicle market. […] It hasn't been thinking about […] how do you address all of those needs of fleets, which are very different than passenger vehicles. […] I think the scale is just mind boggling when you think about electrification of the entire vast sector of the economy [...] that is fleets.”

[24:57] “Because we've been able to learn from what's happened on the passenger side, a lot more collaboration [is] going on at the fleet side. A lot of OEMs, the vehicle manufacturers, realize that someone's not going to just have one kind of vehicle. Most fleets have a mix of vehicles and so there has to be cross compatibility there. And so they're working already on standards that'll help make that easier. You don't have to have specific bespoke infrastructure for this vehicle type, and then something else across the yard for that vehicle type. So certainly, there is already more collaboration going on.”

[28:18] “We have a fund that can own all of the assets, so the land, the infrastructure that sits on the land. […] Then there's all the infrastructure on site, […] the charging infrastructure for large, medium duty, heavy duty vehicles is significantly higher than what you see for passenger vehicles. [...] And then to optimize on the energy side, you really want to have other degrees of freedom that you can pull. So having on site storage can help you meet peak demand at a site. Having on-site generation can maybe help you access lower cost of electricity, or again, help supplement when you have a surge in peak demand. So all of those things added together are a pretty significant chunk of change and require investment. And so we have a fund that can invest into all of that, everywhere from the land all the way to the energy infrastructure.”

[30:37] “We are essentially providing services to the fund. We are managing those sites, we are developing them, we are finding new sites to continue to build up the portfolio. And then we're able to provide the services once they're built out. […] So TeraWatt can provide the services to work with the utility, optimize what infrastructure is on site, and work with charging management of how vehicles are charged to basically optimize the site for the lowest cost of electricity. […] There's a whole host of things that go into that. It's obviously collaboration with the utility companies, the grid operators, understanding the wholesale energy markets in places where that's relevant and then all of the underlying management it takes for a site.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify (Original Title: "Startup Series: TeraWatt Infrastructure")
🕰️ 49 min | 🗓️ 01/20/2022
✅ Time saved: 47 min

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