Nick Wolley, CEO and co-founder, talks about scaling ev.energy, which builds technology to enable electric vehicle smart charging.
Startup profile: ev.energy
ev.energy is on a mission to enable the decarbonization of transport through fast, zero-carbon, and affordable electric vehicle (EV) charging. They are the first British start-up to win the Free Electrons accelerator programme in 2017 to connect start-ups with the world’s leading utility companies and became part of Future Energy Ventures portfolio in 2019.
Making a shift to an electric vehicle from of a combustion engine one is an important stage for conscious consumers looking after their climate footprint. OEMs are investing heavily in battery technology, electricity utilities are deploying more charging points and governments are providing subsidies to incentivize the shift. Nonetheless, the charging process is far from seamless and 100% clean. What is ev.energy’s role in this chain?
Nick: ev.energy is a software company that makes charging electric vehicles cleaner, cheaper and smarter. The challenge with integrating electric vehicles into the electricity grid, is that consumers tend to charge their vehicles at peak times. This means that electricity grids are put under unnecessary stress and energy companies have to procure electricity at peak rates, often getting it from dirty, non-renewable peak generation sources. ev.energy transforms this process by working in partnership with energy companies to provide a better charging experience and service to customers.
How is ev.energy revolutionizing the energy and e-mobility business?
Nick: ev.energy helps integrate electric vehicles into the power grid, allowing electricity networks and retailers to intelligently manage and optimize the electric loads associated with EV charging, in a way that is transparent and simple for the end user to understand. By shifting EV charging to times of the day or night when demand is lower and supply is higher, we reduce stress on the power grid, which pays us for that flexibility. The shift in time also reduces the wholesale electricity costs that retailers need to pay every half hour, and retailers pay us to deliver that saving, some of which is passed on to their customers. When customers are rewarded for smart charging, they are more likely to sign up to retailers that offer such rewards and we also get paid for this customer origination.
What is the impact you have had so far?
Nick: During the course 2020 and early 2021, we ramped up the number of electric vehicles connected to our platform, growing to over 18,000 users in early 2021. In the last 12 months we saved a total of almost 220 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and over £300,000 in energy cost savings. Every smart charge saves carbon emissions, by aligning a customer’s charging with low carbon generation, typically delivering around a 10% saving for a typical charge – for customers with solar we are frequently charging using 100% zero carbon energy. I’m excited about that as EV growth continues to accelerate, we can play a big part of charging using the greenest and cheapest energy on the grid.
What is your vision for the future?
Nick: There will be millions of electric vehicles on the road, creating great opportunities for e-mobility and in turn for energy companies like ev.energy and utilities like E.ON. I would be disappointed if ev.energy was not working actively in a number of key markets, like Germany, the UK and US in the next two years helping to decarbonize transport and simplify electric vehicle charging for tens of thousands of customers across the globe.