Forget about a gas generator, this one has its own battery modules and is attracting a lot of investors.
SparkCharge, a startup company that is developing a very interesting portable EV DC charger for roadside assistance, recently raised $3.3 million in seed round financing.
The company already raised $5 million in total funding since its launch in 2017, and now intends to "scale manufacturing, meet rapidly growing sales demand, and aggressively expand development".
The SparkCharge "portable ultra-fast, modular electric vehicle (EV) charger" is kind of unique because it is battery-electric powered, not a gas generator, like the most recently introduced Blink portable EVSE (9.6 kW AC).
SparkCharge is a full-blown 20 kW DC fast charger (with CHAdeMO or CCS Combo plug) and a modular battery (up to five modules), which according to the company can replenish about 1 mile of range in a minute of charging.
The use is fairly simple - each part of the SparkCharge device can be carried separately by hand (charger is 9 kg, while a single battery module weighs 22 kg) and then stacked together near the vehicle.
The first version is equipped with a CHAdeMO plug so it can recharge all CHAdeMO-compatible cars as well as Tesla cars via the Tesla-CHAdeMO adapter. The CCS version is under development. Hopefully, the company will find a way to make those CHAdeMO and CCS cables detachable so there will be no need for two chargers to cover the entire EV market.
A single battery module is 3.5 kWh (3.2 kWh usable), which means an energy density of 159 Wh/kg (145 Wh/kg usable).
The energy content is not high, to be honest (should be enough for some 10 miles/16 km in most cases according to EPA energy consumption figures), but you can stack several modules to increase the total energy. The battery capacity here is the major bottleneck, which probably will affect also the price.
On the other hand, you should be able to find an electricity source (at least an outlet) within several miles.
SparkCharge Portable EV Charger specs:
- 20 kW DC charger (9 kg) with CHAdeMO or CCS Combo plug
- single module (22 kg): 3.5 kWh (3.2 kWh usable) and 159 Wh/kg (145 Wh/kg usable)
- battery modules can be recharged using traditional 110- or 220-volt household outlets
- up to five modules:
- 1 module (22 kg): 3.5 kWh (3.2 kWh usable) for 14-15 miles of range
- 2 module (44 kg): 7 kWh (6.4 kWh usable) for 28-30 miles of range
- 3 module (66 kg): 10.5 kWh (9.6 kWh usable) for 42-45 miles of range
- 4 module (88 kg): 14 kWh (12.8 kWh usable) for 56-60 miles of range
- 5 module (110 kg): 17.5 kWh (16 kWh usable) for 70-75 miles of range
Gallery: SparkCharge Portable EV Charger
SparkCharge, Creator of Truly Portable UltraFast Electric Vehicle Chargers, Announces the Closing of its $3.3m Seed Funding Led by PJC
SparkCharge, makers of the only portable ultra-fast, modular electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the world, today announced the closing of $3.3 million in seed round financing led by PJC with participation from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, M&T Bank, and Tale Venture Partners, in addition to other investors. This brings SparkCharge’s total funding to $5 million since its launch in 2017. The investment will be used to help the company scale manufacturing, meet rapidly growing sales demand, and aggressively expand development.
SparkCharge’s goal is to make electric vehicle (EV) ownership as easy as possible by removing obstacles to EV adoption such as “range anxiety,” lack of infrastructure, and access to convenient charging. SparkCharge works with roadside assistance companies, insurance firms, delivery companies, hotels, auto manufacturers to make ultra-fast EV charging available at any location.
Joshua Aviv, SparkCharge’s founder, and CEO explains, “We focus on listening to our customers and the EV market to create a product that will effectively remove the barriers to electric vehicle ownership. Our product opens the door for Utilities, Cities, Roadside Assistance and On-Demand Service companies to provide range to EVs faster and more effectively, regardless of location.”
“We are very excited to invest in such a remarkable company” stated Zaid Ashai, Venture Partner at PJC. “EV sales growth is far outpacing the infrastructure growth needed to support such a thriving market. This dynamic puts SparkCharge’s innovative portable ultra-fast chargers in a position to partner with new and existing businesses to cure “range anxiety”.
David Hall, Managing Partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund said, “SparkCharge’s portable charger is removing one of the most inconvenient aspects to owning an electric vehicle—the inability to charge electric vehicles at a moment’s notice. We’re proud to back Joshua and the entire SparkCharge team as they work to facilitate ownership of electric vehicles and in tandem, make our world more sustainable.”
Rachel Saunders, a Principal at PEAK6 Strategic Capital shares, “We’re excited to participate in the seed round for SparkCharge. We recognize the unmet need for EVs and have been impressed by what the team has accomplished to address that opportunity. We are proud to support their vision for the future. This is another example of our focus on investing in companies that leverage innovation, technology, operational excellence, and purposeful design to transform the world into what it ought to be.”
When asked why to invest in SparkCharge, Ed Jean-Louis, Partner at Tale Venture Partners replied “What really got us excited about SparkCharge was the team and how invested they were in addressing the lack of EV charging infrastructure with a novel and innovative approach. The SparkCharge team will not only help service the existing EV market but the company’s differentiated distribution method will also enable people to access fast-charging anytime, anywhere. We think this will help remove barriers for EV adoption and eliminate range anxiety for EV owners.”
SparkCharge’s pioneering new technology allows anyone to deliver range to an electric vehicle owner anytime, anywhere. It opens the door for electric vehicle owners to have their cars charged in a way that was not possible in the past by removing the limitations on when, where, and how an electric vehicle gets charged.
Key features and benefits of SparkCharge’s Portable Ultra-Fast Chargers:
Modular/Scalable: Easily stacked on top of each other, like Lego blocks, to increase the range delivered.
Compact: Fits easily in the trunk of any car. Lightweight: Can be carried by hand with ease.
True Ultrafast Charging: Capable of charging at a rate of 1 mile every 60 seconds.
“We are in the beginning stages of transforming the EV world, and the relationships we have built with the world’s leading EV manufacturers will help continue that change,” says Aviv. “These relationships ensure that all EV owners can benefit from our product by eliminating range anxiety and making EV ownership greener and more convenient.”
SparkCharge’s product is 100% electric and is charged using traditional 110- or 220-volt household outlets, thereby eliminating the air pollution that would result from gas-powered EV chargers.
“We have seen a glimpse of what is possible with the adoption of electric vehicles. With much of the world practicing social distancing and working from home there has been a dramatic drop in cars on the road. New York decreased air pollution by 50%, China has seen a 25% drop in emissions, and nitrogen dioxide emissions throughout Europe are fading away. We need to get people back to work and still retain these environmental improvements. EV ownership has the potential to change the world and for the first time we can actually see it.” says Aviv.
SparkCharge is creating a more efficient and connected world of transportation with its portable, ultrafast and modular electric vehicle charger. Because the chargers are compact, they can be delivered to an electric vehicle owner on-demand. This creates a mobile charging infrastructure that allows EV owners to have their cars charged anytime and anywhere. To learn more, please visit www.sparkcharge.io or contact Joshua Rapoza, VP Marketing, 508-558-6682 or at Rapoza@SparkCharge.io