Yeah, that exists. Instead of driving to the charger or charging (often slowish) at home, SparkCharge wants to bring the mobile level 3 charging station to wherever you are with a click of an app.
We've talked about this startup before, but now, on their event fittingly called SparkDay 2021, SparkCharge claims the service will start at only $25 per month. Which is not too shabby really. The price will most likely be based on how often you use it, but the convenience seems real. And if the delivery industry boom has taught us anything, it's that people are willing to pay for convenience.
Looks like they are currently serving Dallas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles with the app called ChargeUp Delivery. They've now added the new version of the "Roadie Mobile" which features CCS, in addition to the current CHAdeMO unit.
The original plan was to 'franchise' the service itself, which would mean you could become one of the operators of these Roadie mobile chargers. Sounds very gig-economy: "while I'm bringing you the food via Uber, can I interest you in a charge too?"
Also - they are the first company that I know of, that leverages the EV community influencers. For the 'Questions from Fanboys', which in this case are naysayers from social media it seems, they brought in influential EV figures like Rich from Rich Rebuilds, Zac and Jesse from NowYouKnow and Tom Moloughney from InsideEVs. Which is smart. (timestamped video)Here's the SparkDay 2021 (video). (If you happen to test this service, let me know!)
📺 What I'm watching
- Tesla Plaid delivery event:
- Laycee, known on YouTube as Miss GoElectric, explains how EV charging works in this tour of the Electrify America's Center of Excellence Technology Lab. (video)
- TeslaBjørn tours the new Circle K dubbed "The charging station of the future". 300 kW chargers, solar panels, battery storage, and EV-in-mind design from the scratch. What's not to love? (video)
⚡⚡ Fast Charge:
+4,500 curbside chargers by 2028 in Québec, Canada. The Electric Circuit charging network partners with Québec municipalities, offering a new grant program that covers up to $24k per station. The plan is to reach 4,500 curbside 240V charging points by 2028. (link)
+1,000 fast-charging hubs by 2023 in Germany. Germany’s Federal Council has passed the law which gives a legal basis for the targeted expansion of a Germany-wide network of fast-charging points with 1,000 fast-charging hubs. Investment size is around €2B ($2.44B) (link in Ger).
+1,000 chargers in North Carolina, US. Duke Energy, an N.C. utility company, filed a Phase II electric transportation program that sees an investment of $56M. (link) It makes sense for utilities to support the EV transition - electricity consumption brings in the $$$.
+500 DC chargers by 2022 in the US and Canada at 250 7-eleven Stores (link).
+400 chargers in Spain, at almost 200 Burger King and Popeyes shops. Iberdrola, the Spanish energy supplier providing these chargers, has a bigger plan of +150,000 charging stations by 2025 (link).
+236 chargers by 2026 in London at the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. As one gigantic charging bay, it's built by Franklin Energy and will use EVBox chargers. Will be built in 7 phases (link).
+6x2 chargers (180kW) in Malaysia will be deployed by Porsche Asia Pacific and Shell in Shell's stations along Malaysia's North-South highway, connecting Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang (link). When I was in Singapore a few years back, I couldn't cross the Singapore-Malaysia border with less than 2/3 of gas tank (fuel is way cheaper in Malaysia). I wonder if they'll adapt this to the battery charge too.
Our friends of the EV Universe, the AmpUp team, announced the launch of Low Income Assistance Program (link):
For site hosts that want to install EV charging stations in low income areas AmpUp will waive fees where the average energy burden, as a percentage of income, is greater than 5%. The program is open to the first 100 applicants on a first-come first-serve basis.
XL Fleet acquires World Energy Efficiency Services, a New England full-service EVSE installation provider, for ~$16M. XL fleet offers commercial and municipal fleet electrification solutions and this isn't the first EV-related acquisition for them. (link)
Tesla now shows the wait time on the map if all superchargers are busy. (link)
EVgo launched a reservation program to enable drivers to reserve EV chargers ahead of time for a $3 fee + $2 if you're a no-show after 2 minutes. (link)
⚡ Trickle Charge:
The UK's Department of Transport plans to commit £200k for a design makeover of the EV chargers, hoping to make them "as iconic as red telephone boxes" (link).While the idea is fun, I reckon they could put up about 15+ DC fast chargers for the same amount of money. Which will shape the future more?
Neste is piloting its EV charging service targeted to logistics companies in Finland, launching this year (link). ViriCity analyzed 40k charging sessions from the US and EU and found fast chargers were underutilized in 24% of those charging sessions. This means they started charging at a higher than 80% battery level and thus were not using the full possibilities of the fast charger. (link)
❌ Faulty Charge:
Instavolt raises its prices in the UK after it's forced to pay the standard VAT rate of 20%, instead of 5% so far. Per Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) new brief, the VAT rate reduction is meant for 'small quantities of electricity of less than 1k kWh/month and thus not applicable to InstaVolt. The CEO, Adrian Keen, said (link):
We will continue to engage with the government to reduce the rate of VAT on public EV charging to five percent, in line with domestic energy tariffs. If HMRC reverses its position we will immediately reduce our price. We hope HMRC recognizes this mistake quickly, as taxing EV drivers with no ability to charge at home is not fair