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Solar-powered charging hubs roll out in the Bay Area

ChargeWheel has secured investment to build a network of its energy trailers aimed at micro-mobility fleets and electric vehicles.

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The Bay Area is the first to benefit from the solar-powered charging hubs
The Bay Area is the first to benefit from the solar-powered charging hubs

ChargeWheel, which provides a clean, on-demand mobile charging hub for micro-mobility fleets and electric vehicles, has secured $1m in seed funding.

 

The funding from Right Side Capital will support the introduction of San Francisco Bay Area’s first charging network based on the company’s energy trailers. These are a combined solar power generation and energy storage solution for charging personal electric vehicles of all kinds.

 

By the fourth quarter of 2019, ChargeWheel aims to have 100 energy trailers ready for deployment and accessible to micro-mobility fleet operators and EV drivers.

 

Multiple charging

 

The energy trailer system is reportedly capable of simultaneously charging four electric vehicles or up to 400 e-bikes and e-scooters at DC fast charging (DCFC) speeds.

 

“ChargeWheel’s offering addresses the sustainability and efficiency shortcomings in the micro-mobility industry by providing a cleaner and more convenient way to charge electric modes of transportation in cities,” said Huzaifa Muhammad, CEO and founder of ChargeWheel.

 

According to the company, while e-scooters and e-bikes are enabling huge strides toward zero-emissions transportation in cities today, because micro-mobility charging networks and infrastructure don’t exist where micro-mobility devices are primarily used, many of the largest fleet operators are relying on warehouses far away from city centres, stocked with diesel generators to charge their vehicles en masse.

 

Similarly, large city centres often lack DC fast chargers for electric car drivers, mainly due to lengthy permitting and infrastructure installation issues.

“ChargeWheel’s offering addresses the sustainability and efficiency shortcomings in the micro-mobility industry”

ChargeWheel’s energy trailers are equipped with solar panels, 550KWh of energy storage capacity and DCFC and, the company claims, offer several advantages over traditional EV and micro-mobility fleet charging models:

  • clean energy: the energy trailer is capable of charging vehicles with 100 per cent solar energy generated by roof-mounted solar panels, enabling micro-mobility fleets to utilise an unprecedented level of clean energy in their operations
  • no installation or permitting required: trailers can operate in any parking lot – and anywhere you can bring a van – dramatically reducing space, permitting and equipment requirements for the infrastructure necessary to recharge micro-mobility fleets at DCFC speeds
  • no grid connection required: trailers don’t require a connection to the grid, making them completely mobile and capable of generating renewable electricity onsite using solar panels
  • $99 annual unlimited charging plan: for EV drivers, ChargeWheel will introduce a $99 yearly unlimited charging subscription plan, allowing drivers to charge their EVs at a fixed cost per year at any location.

ChargeWheel said fleet operators can benefit from its charging-as-a-service offering in several ways:

  • leasing: micro-mobility or EV fleet operators can lease the trailers on yearly contracts.
  • subscription: for a monthly subscription fee, micro-mobility fleet operators which use independent contractors for charging of their fleets can direct their contractors to the nearest energy trailer for charging.

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