Imagine a car journey where every fuel stop takes 4 hours. That is exactly what you face if you buy an electric vehicle today. Of the 20,000 charging stations in this country, only 300 are powerful enough to charge a car in 30 minutes. This is because the electricity costs are astronomical. It’s not the amount of energy you need – that is worth about a dollar. The astronomical cost is about how fast you need it delivered. Most people don’t know how commercial customers are billed for electricity. You have to understand the commercial billing structure to understand the problem. Commercial customers pay not just for energy, but they also pay for how fast it is delivered, known as the demand. Even if only one electric vehicle uses a fast charging station, the station operator has to pay a steep monthly demand tariff. This problem is unique to fast chargers, because they need so much power. This is why there are so few fast chargers, and in this lies a huge opportunity.

Our team at the University of Michigan has developed a technology, and an innovative business model, to solve this problem. Using the Keravnos Energy Management System we can reduce the electricity bill of that building, while simultaneously being able to deliver fast charging for electric vehicles. The EV driver can locate and reserve our charging station using a smartphone. The building owner not only gets customers at the door of their business; but also enjoy monthly cost savings, which are shared with our company. We use project financing to replicate this system until we break even at 375 installations in 36 months. This is achieved with a total investment of under $2M in our company. The network of KEMS is scaled up using funds from private investors on a project financing basis, as they invest in successive replications of the same deal.

This is the perfect opportunity to build the charging infrastructure of the future, and kick-start the green economy – right here in our own backyard.