“I know it’s a cliche, but I genuinely talk to my team about scenarios where it is actually a win for the customer, a win for the utility and a win for us,” said CEO Nick Woolley. “And don’t forget the big goal, which is we get a faster decarbonization of transportation plus the electricity system as well.”
The system, which prioritizes charging when wind and solar generation is buzzing, will tweak its schedule to consider solar panels on a user’s home. One technique is to knock down the so-called renewable energy duck curve, getting thousands of cars to charge at the end of a particularly sunny or windy day when the grid is surging with green electricity.
To date, an electric vehicle’s charging has been only as smart as its owner. The greenest drivers try to avoid plugging in on a hot day, lest they siphon from a coal-burning plant that wouldn’t otherwise be running. But generally, everyone is making a best guess based on weather and, occasionally, alarming warnings from state grid administrators.
In three years, ev.energy has signed on 16 energy companies in Australia, Europe and the U.S., while licensing its software to companies that make cars and vehicle-charging hardware. Last week, its staff of about 30 celebrated $8.8 million in a new round of investment led by Energy Impact Partners, a New York-based firm focused on sustainable energy startups. The company declined to disclose its valuation in the round or its annual revenue. According to Woolley, it is one of the only smart charging startups bridging the gap between the grid and the driver.