It’s almost inevitable: when the topic of EVs comes up, someone will express worries about range. Insufficient charging infrastructure has long hampered the adoption of EVs, as people worry about getting stranded or being limited in their routes.
When Joshua Aviv took an environmental economics class at Syracuse University, the professor told him, “If you want to change the world, electric vehicles are the way to go.” So Aviv dreamt up a solution in his dorm room to EVs’ range problem: a portable, off-grid, ultra-fast EV charger.
“EV owners can have range delivered to them for any application and any situation—whether it be for emergency or for convenience,” explains Aviv, co-founder and CEO of SparkCharge.
SparkCharge makes charging your EV as simple and convenient as ordering in food. Users can request a charge from a concierge service provider via a phone app, and the provider will bring SparkCharge’s unit right to the user. The units are stackable, meaning that providers can combine multiple battery packs’ power.
The invention also changes the game if you’ve run out of charge—rather than getting towed and then charged, a provider can meet you wherever you are. And with SparkCharge’s convenience charging model, you can even set up your car to automatically order more range when it’s getting low.
The portable devices charge a vehicle at one mile per minute, which is a top-tier speed and far faster than wall outlet chargers.
SparkCharge has a business-to-business sales model, meaning it doesn’t set prices for users, but Aviv observes that prices are usually comparable to what users would find at charging stations. SparkCharge has customers and is shipping nationally.
The company joined Greentown Labs in 2018, four years after Aviv founded it at Syracuse. Aviv says he’s learned a lot from the Greentown community’s CEO meetings, and appreciates the incubator’s efforts to introduce SparkCharge to customers and investors.
The company has 12 people on its team, and will grow to 15 soon, Aviv says. In the coming months, SparkCharge will scale its production and develop a second version of its charger, which will include faster charging speeds and additional capabilities.
People usually get excited when they hear about SparkCharge’s portable charger and its various applications, according to Aviv.
“It’s a no-brainer,” he says. “It’s something the industry needs, it’s something the industry wants, it’s something that’s a must-have.”
P.S. See SparkCharge reveal its product at Greentown Labs’ 2019 DEMO Day!
Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating solutions for today’s biggest climate and environmental challenges. Located in Somerville, Mass., the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation is the largest cleantech incubator in North America, operating a 100,000 sq. ft. campus comprised of prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, electronics lab, and a curated suite of programs and resources. Greentown Labs is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 230 since its inception.