This week Chris and Johan are joined by Dr. Shibab Kuran from EV Edison. Shibab is Executive Chairman for EV Edison. The two discuss what interesting developments are happening in EV Edison. Listen in to get an insight into what is in the works for EV Edison.
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Welcome to insiders guide energy. I'm your host, Chris Sass. And with me, as always, is Johann Aubert. Johann, what's happening?
Hey, Chris, good to be back on. Just came back for after a few days in Stockholm, Sweden and my hometown and I had a great time also related to the topic that we're going to talk about today because there is a lot of things happening in terms of the transition to electrification, especially on fleet.
So really interesting how you been.
I I've been really good. I'm, I'm looking forward to talking a little bit about fleets.
I've spent a good bit of time recently working with fleets and talking to folks. I just came back from North America and you know, one of the problem statements I think might be is what happens when you start dropping fleets in these cities in the densely populated areas.
Are the grids going to support it or the substations there is, is the infrastructure in place to do that at scale and I'm hoping our guest today can maybe help me understand. Is that the problem that that they see and is there a?
Solution for it.
Yeah. And I agree, I totally agree. And I think coming back to to myself common allergy, I think we've moved the discussions from being a, I wouldn't say a minor discussion, but it definitely an industry discussion to a public discussion and and all across the media is how do we push this forward and how do we support the infrastructure and it feels like a bit of a catch 20.
Two, but it's going to be interesting.
I think it is a simple Sweden question. So you were you there on the day of summer this year or did you make it for the summer?
Hide two days, so one day.
That's three days of summer in Sweden now.
The one day, the one day of summer and the one day of travelling.
Fantastic. I'd like to start the show. Let's.
Introduce our guests Shahab Kharon, welcome to the programme.
Thank you, Chris. Thanks.
Johan, thanks for having me today.
Well, we're excited to have you can hear what we anticipate the conversation being. But before we go into that, let's start by telling your audience a little bit about who you are and maybe that will help them understand why we invited you be on the show today.
Sure. Well, I'm an electrical engineer by training, been a serial entrepreneur in the energy and the telecom space, about, I would say about 15 years ago started a company called Petra Solar where we designed solar and smart grid components and managed to work.
With the local utility here in New Jersey and launched and built the world's largest solar project. Back then it was 40 mega.
But $200 million contract made-up of up to 200,000 solar panels on utility poles throughout the state with built in smart grid communication, Zigbee networks, backhaul and so on, and that was that was an exciting entry point for me in the energy space.
Then subsequently worked for some large companies like Energy Sun Edison and about seven years ago co-founded a company called Power Edison.
Focus on mobile energy storage and about six months ago co-founded another company called EV Edison More narrowly focused on electrification of the transportation sector.
So you're currently at EV Edison. Maybe you could be a little more specific of what the electrification of the transportation industry is. What does that mean to you? What problem are you out to solve?
Sure. So like I said earlier, we have, we actually have two sister companies power Addison and EV Addison and what we do is address the infrastructure problem in in the sense that like you you were discussing with Johan earlier that.
Uhm, maybe a a fleet operator calls the utility and says I've got a fleet that I need to electrify, I need electricity, and frankly, without even the current problem associated with the supply chain COVID issue.
Utilities can't respond quickly, can't just bring power the next day. It might take a year, might take two, might take 5.
So we have.
Engineered and devise a whole portfolio of what we call mobile utility scale energy storage solutions, including EV.
Charging switch gear.
Batteries where effectively we.
Can stand up an EV charging hub.
Even if the infrastructure doesn't exist or the infrastructure needs a number of years to show up, inclusive of the ability to shuttle electrons on a battery on a.
Truck or barge?
Or rail to that location from some nearby location. So effectively we.
Provide a bridge for infrastructure for the problem that exists in the industry today.
So how do you see that? Because is it is it a?
Short term problem that is solved where you don't have the infrastructure because coming back to my analogy in the beginning of the the show and just came back from from the Scandinavian countries and and and the Nordics where where EV's are growing.
Quite hefty. It's everywhere. And the big problem is how do we build infrastructure and everyone is jumping on the train now. Want to be involved, from from subsidies to whatever.
So the infrastructure will be built.
Uh, sooner or later, so.
So where do you see your position here?
Yeah, this is a surprisingly, we initially thought that this is a a coping mechanism up until a permanent solution shows up and and like I said, that solution might take two years, might take 5.
But surprisingly, we came across many use cases where our partners, our customers said, you know what? I am actually content with this solution in perpetuity and and when you dig deeper, you find out that sometimes fleet operators are almost like nomads, they'll have 1020.
100 trucks. If you look in New York City, it is the case where they'll lease for a year an empty parking lots.
And then the next year, another empty parking lot. So more often than not that they don't own the real estate and you can go on Google Earth and you can see this, you'll see fleets that are parked in whatever empty space available and that's reflected in a lower lease payment and so on. So that infrastructure.
Might have to follow them. And so that's just one case where call it mobile dynamic power infrastructure and EV charging infrastructure might remain as such without, you know, being taken away in a year or two. In other cases, no, it is a bridge up until the permanent infrastructure is brought in.
So are you saying that because fleets are chasing cheap spots? I think your example in our pre call was a construction lot or maybe they're going to build, they're waiting for permits or some some reason a lot to invade Pharaoh and they.
They use it for that, that you could bring in a charging centre at that location you would truck it in I guess to me then.
What is the cost of those electrons? Is it is the real estate that much cheaper that even trucking the electrons in from another location is cost effective? I'm assuming if your business model is that, that's what you're telling us.
Yeah, is that empirically what what you do? Is it cheaper?
Yeah, it it's it's.
A good question. Obviously the electrons are expensive to transport, and primarily because the energy density of batteries is low. So you've got a heavy, heavy battery that needs to be transported and you don't.
You can't put too many of those electrons on a truck, just to give you a specific example.
In a 20 foot container we stop not because we can't put more electrons is because of the weight limit of those trucks.
And in a 20 foot container, the state-of-the-art today is anywhere between two MW hours up to four, depending on the chemistry and the technology use. So obviously that means you're not going to transport this for two hours.
You want to transport it maybe over 5 minutes or 10 minutes from a nearby substation or nearby location.
So we do.
You need to look at site by site. Obviously there's an economy of scale, meaning if there's a route for the drivers that you know do 5/6/10 of them a day, the cost per kWh drops. But you'll be surprised to see, especially in areas like New York City where the alternative is.
No power or the alternative is very expensive upgrade. Someone has to pay for that upgrade, whether it's the ratepayers, the taxpayers.
Or the client themselves. That is a very expensive upgrade. To give you an example, there was a project announced publicly by Con Edison for an upgrade of about 68 megawatts in an area called the Brooklyn, Queens demand management area and the public costs that we saw.
Announced was $1.2 billion.
Because it entails digging up the streets, eminent domain, citing permanent permitting. So that infrastructure problem is a very expensive one, and it's on a case.
By case basis.
And then you said you have these in shipping containers. You also mentioned that they come by rail or by boat. So what's an example of a barge use?
So we we have a fleet of barge projects under development in the New York City area and primarily because.
Obviously real estate is very expensive in New York, and even if you found a spot, typically the landlord might have a plan to put up a high rise or something in five years or 10 years, so putting permanent infrastructure on land.
Might not be the best efficient use of that land.
But we have what's called the the blue highways. We have the waterways in New York City. So we.
We have already permitted interconnections and and in an advanced stage of constructing.
Barges that would interconnect to the con Ed network at one point.
They actually can perform those batteries, can perform with batteries on the barges. Those can perform up to 20 functions on the grid. You or the audience might know about some like backup.
Power or participating in some tariffs.
Or providing what's called ancillary services on the grid, kind of frequency regulation capacities, things like that.
But that barge can also be charged up and tugged 30 minutes away to a waterfront site where we need to charge the fleet we talked about earlier.
So, so that mobile battery on water, on rail or on trucks has a lot of applications and we need to take.
That take those electrons to where they're needed. Initially we're focused as power Edison on just providing the energy storage, but we saw recently that.
EV charging infrastructure became a major driver for the need of those batteries, so we created the sister company called Edison to handle the sales and marketing and contracting and development of such projects.
Is this problem statement like the addressable market, is it greater than New York? I mean I can see it in New York as New York, NY, it's it's kind of a one off.
Right. And it's got a bit different. How does this go to other areas? So you're located in New Jersey. Are there other cities in the Northeast quarter that would benefit from this?
You know, surprisingly, it's a it's a universal problem we have.
We we announced this publicly without necessarily the name of the client, but we were contracted for.
At the time, it was largest fleet of mobile batteries on trucks, and it happens to be for a customer in the Midwest.
And so this problem is not unique to New York City or not unique to New Jersey or the Northeast. Frankly, it's a universal problem. The cost of infrastructure is high. And here's the interesting contrast.
One might think this is only expensive in cities, but we have examples where, let's say a charging site is showing up at.
A ski resort.
And in order to beef up that feeder, it might be running for 20 months.
Of wires that you need to bring and and so the ability to.
Electrons in from you know a location where it's difficult to bring it in otherwise with wires or put a battery for that season when when that problem happens and then take that battery away when it's not needed. Might be a ski resort area where a lot of people need to charge in the winter.
Time, but in the summertime it's not there so that mobile battery can perform a function even if it's not shuttled every day.
It can solve the problem in the winter season and it can go do the same in the summer season elsewhere.
Which I think is interesting and we worked on.
On a few projects around this in green batteries where we used large batteries backups for open air events. So rather than pushing diesel engines on the stages of concerts, we we try to use big batteries.
But that was fixed and it was a one off, so I don't know how the business modelling was.
More approved for concept I guess.
But out of out of interest.
If I look at.
What you're telling me, especially coming back to New York City and and the real estate versus the fleet, who, who is your customers when you go out? Who, who is actually?
Who, who are you targeting in terms of this one if it's not the real estate owners we which we usually have on this show?
Yeah, no, the surprisingly.
The stakeholders, I'll say broadly across the board. So yesterday, for example, we had a meeting with public officials who happened to be responsible for multiple municipalities.
And so kind of county officials, if you wish, where multiple municipalities that have a transportation electrification programme they have.
Just under 1000 vehicles in in their fleet and those vehicles are parked all over the place and they're not necessarily in one location. They need garages, they need electrification.
And it's very expensive when you call the utility, not, not because the utility is trying to raise a price or anything.
It's just a cost of infrastructure build out. It is expensive and so so that's a case where it's a public.
And we're also working with some of the nation's largest fleet owners who.
Have announced large electrification programmes where they have announced, you know, thousands and 10s of thousands of electric vehicle purchases.
Guess what you go back to their garages, those garages they need, they used to have a light and maybe change oil and something. Now it needs megawatts of power. Well, that's.
Never anticipated when when they rented or leased or built those garages, so all of a sudden the need for electrical infrastructure is needed.
By the public.
Needed by large fleet operators. We also engage with you know real estate owners who might have a stranded lot that didn't have in use, but it happens to be ideal from the concept that we described. So you'll be surprised that really those stakeholders and clients and summer.
All them teaching customers cover the full spectrum, government, private sector and the like.
So one question I have.
I'm sure you've come across it is.
When you have this much density of battery, are there EPA or health concerns or restrictions that people are worried about?
I mean, you have your car, you got a parking garage, you have a lot of batteries in a parking garage.
But if you have a shipping container dropped in this densely packed, are there any concerns there?
Yeah. Then frankly, it's the other way around. We have a project. It doesn't necessarily need mobile infrastructure, we joint ventured.
Uh with a partner who owns 130 acres just outside New York City, about 10 minutes from New York City, about 10 minutes from Port Newark, which happens to be the largest seaport on the East Coast.
And it's 130 acre site where we joint venture to build the US largest EV charging.
And we're working with the local utility to bring up to 200 megawatts of power. So it's very sizable. And so the batteries are not necessarily brought in there.
But when you look at the demographics, when you look at the we've engaged the local community, it's a sad story. The reason we're there is because they're massive.
Number of trucks, medium and heavy duty vehicles.
That the port.
The traffic to New York City and so on.
And the area has the highest one of the highest asthma rates in the country. So frankly bringing a battery to electrify.
Transportation, where otherwise it was running on fossil fuel, is a welcome sign, and we work with the environmental justice communities. We work on work workforce development.
Electrifying is something that's badly needed from a health perspective. These batteries don't make noise. There's no emissions as compared to, you know, fossil fuels that are really bad for people and for the environment.
Which which obviously is the whole.
That right, which is the part of the whole thing with electrification, so.
What I'm interesting to understand is where do you see developments in around this because electrification is it started off with the cars?
We see more and more now coming into the fleets with the cities especially not just because pollution only, but also noise levels etc.
So so where, where do you see developments around this, where your batteries can be deployed? I I I mentioned, I just came back and I was in an electric boat. Not a fairy, but a private boat.
So the auto pillar go now is looking at all right. So how do we on the islands provide?
And charging up options for electric boats.
So where do you see?
Other opportunities for you guys?
Yeah, it's it's it's something my, my colleagues and I we we contemplate and think about at the end of every day because almost.
Every week we're presented with a new problem statement that we have not thought about, so we're kind of getting smarter by the day.
In terms of what the industry needs are and what the challenges are.
We are engaged with marine operators, people who operate ferries and people who operate ports. Because we have a barge based solution. We're engaged with rail trucking fleets and also light duty vehicles.
Frankly, we just kind of cut through that and say who needs electrical infrastructure that might either be expensive.
Or that might be expensive or that might take a long time, so.
So that is that is it.
It can be anyone.
I would say it has to be someone who needs more meaningful power. Level it we're not talking about small.
Level 2 or level.
One we're talking about kind of MW scale and higher.
I guess my question is, is how mature is this technology? You said you've joined and started this company. You made a sister company to help with the EV.
So you've got a couple, couple of companies out there. Where are you in the market lifecycle? You you've mentioned a few projects and a few customers. Is, is this a reality today and if So what scale?
Yeah, we it is a reality. We built, like I said, we built a fleet for a customer and we learned a lot. It wasn't easy. We're doing this in the midst of supply chain issues, you know, shutdowns in China.
Lack of availability of Transformers switch gear, so frankly it's been 10 times harder.
Because of that, but.
Uh, it we learned a lot and we we've actually won earlier projects, but we we depended on other people who couldn't deliver, so we had to beef up our own engineering resources supply chain.
Uh, so that's that's great and and you know we have equipment, it's amazing. I mean you see it as it gets built, that's it get built and and so on. We also have the project in Carney that's well underway. We have agreements were already identified.
Megawatts, serious amount of megawatts of existing power, so we're signed.
Clients and partners in New York, we already have paid for interconnection agreements and moving ahead with construction of large systems.
So this is this is happening, uh a lot remains to be done. We're staffing up, we're hiring people. So that's that's also.
Great new talent coming, coming on board. The problem is really large in terms of size, just to give you an example.
And if we take light duty vehicles in in New Jersey, the state that I live in.
We have about 6 million light duty vehicles and just assume that everyone gets a level 2 charger like a dryer outlet. It's about 10 kilowatts.
And installing that for these vehicles, whether they're all being used at the same time or not. And they might, everyone shows up in at 6:00 PM, and all of them, but 10 kilowatts.
Times 6 million is 60 gigawatts. 60 gigawatts. That's just the light duty segment, not medium or heavy duty. The whole state of New Jersey has a load of 1717.
So we're talking about a massive infrastructure build out and that's just New Jersey, we haven't.
Talked about New York.
And the grid is not overbuilt.
The grid historically is just built enough to meet the peak and sometimes we don't meet the peak. We have brownouts and blackouts and we that's why we invoke demand response and other programmes.
Talking about a fairly large scale problem now, 10%, fifty percent, 80% of that will be built the traditional way, but there's a large Sam or 10 associated with the solutions that we're addressing.
Out of, out of.
Curiosity then we looked at the infrastructure that you talked about on, on these big ones.
This is one of these stupid questions I'm allowed to ask, and this is.
How remotely and even in the cities? How do you charge them if you're using the thesis portable ones?
Uh, how do you how do you? Are you sending him away to a charging point? So you you go back and forth? Do you plug them in at the side to get permission?
How? How does the actual infrastructure for the actual batteries work?
Yes, no, that's.
A great question. Those batteries obviously can trickle charge and use a lower input power, but we.
Are establishing a network of high power charges. Like I said earlier, we we have for example a site in New York City that is 5 megawatts in power. That's been.
Uh sighted and has been approved for interconnection at 5 megawatts, 5 megawatts in the heart of New York City in a congested network.
It's a very meaningful connexion of power in Carney. We already have over 10 megawatts, but we're working on 200 megawatts to become a hub for charging either barges.
Or trucks or rail or or other large batteries. So, Johan, yeah, we need to get access to meaningful power supply and and by the way, the utilities have substations.
And and many of those substations have been made resilient, for example in the New York area since Sandy.
When when they got flooded and so on. So we do rely either on our own private network of high-powered charging sources or on utilities network and sometimes we have industry partners who happen to have large infrastructure.
And we can come in and work on either at night or a certain hour when that demand is not at its peak. So we don't impact the local consumption and we have that flexibility because we're dynamic or mobile.
And what percentage of the energy you're currently using is green electrons?
So green, that's that's a great question, Chris. So obviously there are two ways of getting green electrons. One is through a local.
A generation of green electrons, and that means you're either generating that through solar or through wind nowadays. Kind of. Let's leave hydro aside for a second.
A solar in, say, the heart of New York City is not a practical solution at MW scale, because it's not.
Dense in terms of area productivity and wind obviously is not local, but the good news and that is not a show stopper.
Procure electrons through virtual power agreements where effectively.
A green power can be contracted remotely. And and a green electron that enters the grid 100 miles away and you pull another electron locally. You know, kind of.
You can create that virtual agreement where it's Wheeling that green electron over. Might not be exact same electron, but the net is the same.
And for example, specifically in the New Jersey, New York area, we have very large offshore wind development that's happening and we are working with the wind developers is as this wind comes on.
Online and and connects to the grid.
Our barges are playing a key role, either in firming up the wind or picking up those electrons at the green.
So to ask a question, you can go through a PPA or you can go through next to a physical site that.
Has green electrons.
The other question I have, you said you.
Had lunch of learning curve or experience.
Working with this much electricity on barges. Now, granted ships use electric power and generate power all the time, but running it to shore applications? Are there special considerations there?
You know, I think mobility in itself does present a challenge and and so batteries for the grid are designed and constructed in certain fashion, but frankly you can't just pick up a grid scale battery and mobilise it with vibration.
On wheels or in water, water and roadways present two different challenges for us on.
Roadways. It's the vibration. It's the weight per axle. It's the bridge laws. It's the frost laws. It's the which equipment can handle the weight.
It's the height. Is the deck regular deck? Is it a drop deck? Is a low boy? I mean, there's so much we had to learn from a mobile construction and transportation.
On the marine side, it's a different set of challenges, one.
How do you construct it? Where do you construct it? There are other things. Regulatory issues. Is the Jones act. There is.
What do you do when there's a hurricane?
How do you keep it stable in place if you don't have a bulkhead you don't want to build appear every time you have a barge showing up to the waterfront?
We've basically addressed and solved all these problems. And then when you run the water, there's a salty water, you know, fresh water in salt spray you've got constant movement, so the cables, the marine cables from the land to the water have to have certain flexibility and and so on.
As as we're.
Speaking right now, we have an engine.
Uh team at one of our sites exactly working on on that so.
On the water, there's a set of engineering and business challenges on roadways, yet there's another set and as engineers, as a technical team, as a business team every time.
We solve the problem.
It's a differentiator. It's it's an enabler. It opens more markets, it's open more doors. It allows us to solve the problem for more customers.
So is your business model to sell these containers or are you selling electrons?
Like is is the consumer care if you have trouble, if you're not getting total efficiency out of these batteries because you just deliver the electrons I need.
We have both. So the fleet that I mentioned earlier that we constructed that was sold as equipment to a customer, customer wanted to buy the fleet.
They have other fleets of either gensets or mobile Subs and and so this is yet another technology that they added in their portfolio.
Our first barge in New York City is owned by us, so that's energy as a service for people who are signing up for that.
And then we have other entities who were building the systems, but they have the option if you wish to purchase the equipment, you know, as you know, five years into it or so on we have.
Either real estate owners, small operators, entities like that, that, you know, maybe their appetite for a new solution is uncomfort if you wish. It's not like ours. So they might say, you know, I want.
Uh, this partnership, where you on it for five years, but then we have what's called the partnership flip model.
I will buy it or I'd have the option to buy it so many years into it. So we're agnostic and we don't necessarily stick with one model. We're also technology agnostic, meaning we pick and choose best of breed when it comes to chemistry batteries.
Maybe there's another innovation around the corner we don't know about that it makes sense.
We'll adopt that.
And so this is a pretty capital intensive business then, right, because you're you're all investing in this on the front end, are people doing like multi year purchases like a PPA kind of thing, are they pre applying a set price for five years with you or how does that work?
Yes. So it is capital intensive and thus it attracts a. There are two kind of types of capital. There's I'll say venture capital on the front.
Then because it's engineering and technology and development, but there is private equity and infrastructure capital on the back end.
And so because it requires a lot of capital, it's similar to solar and wind where you're paying for the solar system upfront or the wind system upfront and there's no kind of fuel cost.
This is similar where there's a the majority of the investment is upfront. And so, yes, we do need to make sure that there is a proper offtake or there's a line of sight to the economics.
Over the life of the asset, otherwise it becomes more expensive in, you know, I'll call it merchant operation where you don't know if you're going to have an offtake or not or it's going to work next month or not.
With the customer, we see customers who will sign multi year offtake agreements or a market where we know.
Six months down the road or a year down the road, there'll be another set of customers to to work.
So one of the things we've touched on this show before is scale and not just in terms of energy megawatts, but in scale in general in terms of scaling a company.
We had a lot of startup companies on here and we start looking at it. If we go back to what you just said, if I heard it right, it's capital intensive, which means.
That for everything you do scale, you need more money upfront. So how does that work in terms of your now in New Jersey and New York? What are your plans and how does that growth plan and how that relate to capital?
Software is easy, you can scale fairly quickly globally, but this is a slightly different beast. So how do you think around scale scaling your business based on what you just mentioned?
Not not an easy answer, Johan. To be honest with you, one of the approaches that we are negotiating and discussing with.
Uh financing partners who are.
Deeply interested in our business model is to, if you wish, dissect geographies effectively.
Putting money into the company just to go, uh, nationwide is not something we're we're looking at now. We management attention units are critical at this point and we can't be spread too thin and and we have worthy causes that we're working on like I, I just gave you some examples in the New York and New Jersey area. So one approach.
That we're looking at now with a large number of private equity firms and venture firms that are talking to us is almost like a franchise model meaning.
Well, let's set up a business for California, because California is a country, practically, in terms of the need, in terms of requirements, in terms of the size.
We can do the same in Texas, we can do the same in in Massachusetts or other areas. So that's one thought that we we feel is practical and many of those.
Capital providers, they tend to have a preference on where their capital is deployed. That might be next to where they operate, where their headquarters are or where they own a portfolio of other assets already and so.
We don't have a perfect answer, to be honest with you. We entrepreneurs, just problem solvers. So, but right on we we brought on board a Managing Director.
Uh, Robert. His name is Robert and he is.
Really good at structuring. And so he's in the midst of these discussions on how do we partner with the right capital providers where we grow properly, but at the same time have appropriate management attention units that are required for success.
So is capital the limited growth, is demand, is it building, is it supply chain? What, what's the bottleneck confronting you at this point?
I would say.
It it's talent and capital, it's people and capital. Obviously you have good people. Capital is is on the sidelines so you can tap into it.
But even if you have capital and you don't have the right team.
So to me, I would say priority one is people we're talking today.
But today at 5:00 PM were.
You know, finalising an interview for someone who's talented, who is joining us. So we're always looking for the right people and obviously that goes hand in hand with capital.
But there's no shortage of market need. There's no shortage of fleet operators. There's no shortage of infrastructure buildout requirement today.
So if you look at shortage, I like the word of shortage. It's scale and shortage.
A dire situation in Europe, which obviously affects the entire world. We look then 12 months ago, 24 months ago, we saw an enormous amount of capital, especially for green investments. It was like a bonanza, almost as some of our.
Previous guests have talked about especially in the investment part. Do you see any, any difference now in the last couple of months with with the energy situation as it is in terms of how that capital is?
Moving or is it still available? Is it a short term thing? How do you see?
This hopefully short term solution in terms of capital for green investments.
Yeah, I think there there are two takeaways from what happened recently or three maybe maybe 3 takeaways. So one with the unfortunate situation in Europe with with the war in the Ukraine.
Uhm, if you look at what is one of the key solutions that is being brought in, it's it's barging or shipping fuel end. So mobility of power infrastructure is a validation to our business model.
Yet we're not shipping to, you know, from one continent to the other, but effectively responding to major energy shortages or risks or the dynamic nature of growth we feel mobile power just as a core area got validated with what we see with the.
Energy crisis in Europe?
So that's one second that.
A situation in the Ukraine made energy prices significantly higher. Frankly, that made many of the business cases that we have.
Much more affordable and much more in the money. So we had business cases that did not pencil before. All of a sudden they are more meaningful.
The war had also caused supply chain issues with steel, with some other commodities and yet again infrastructure problems, mobile power that can come to the rescue in a short notice, and an asset that can be used 10 * / a week rather than ten of them stranded different locations. So so.
And then to ask you a question about the capital, we are seeing actually significantly more.
Uh, interest in our solution for us. And so I'm not speaking about other companies, but for us we're getting a lot more interest of capital being provided to us.
Well, as we're starting.
To push up against time, I've I've got plenty of questions, but I think I'm going to hold myself to one question, Johan, and I'll turn it back to you for a final question.
What is the life expectancy of one of these batteries of today's technologies? So if you're building it with lithium or flow battery or whichever technology you're using?
How how long will something if you complete building?
A battery today. Call it a shipping container size battery.
How long is that going to be expected to be used and be?
You know, usable at scale, right?
Today's state-of-the-art lithium ion batteries can support between 5 to 7000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge, meaning completely empty it out and recharge it. If you have shallow cycles you get many more, but that's an important metric, so at at 7.
1000 cycles, that's almost 20.
Years for a cycle a day. Obviously if you charge it three times a day, you do the math, so that's fairly long.
I think we try to put a model where we use them more frequently. Can I use them and?
Abuse them if you.
Wish and get newer ones, newer technologies. As those get used, obviously they will.
Degrade as chemistry and physics and nothing new. So there's something called augmentation where we can put more batteries or simply just scale down the energy left.
So while they can live for 20 years, their end of life capacity might be 20 or 30% lower.
Than the beginning of life, but luckily, and I'll speak to lithium-ion, we're not incorporating flow batteries just because they're not energy dense enough to be transported.
So we we like the whatever chemistry the automotive sector is using. So if Tesla and VW and others are doubling down on a chemistry.
That exact same comes here makes sense for.
Us because we're.
Transporting said they need to be light.
They need to be dense.
But 20 years is a good life, a parameter, and we can sign contracts around that duration.
Cool. That's my last question I've got. Johan, why don't you finish up?
The interview with your last thoughts.
Yeah, I I I thought the last answer was quite interesting because we always talked about batteries and and the life longevity of them and and recycling and we had that on the on the previous show as well. So I I thought it was quite interesting, but if we as a final question.
It's really interesting to hear all the discussions. We're now in 2022, halfway in. If we bring you back here in three, three years, let's say 2025, you're now based in New Jersey, you're deploying across there. Where are you in three years time?
Where do you see yourself?
Yeah, three years, I think.
Come a company with an operating fleet of.
Different modes of transportation like I said on water and rail, on trucks that are roaming the country, we're getting a lot of international interest, but for now we're focused on the US market. So obviously a fleet build out a larger company we do have aspirations to take.
The company public, that's part of the exit strategy if you wish for, for ourselves as management, as investors and so on.
But I I think as a as a serial entrepreneur I'll I'll probably be deep into the weeds of trying to solve another problem that I'm sure it's just around the corner.
So it's it's a journey, Johann and and there's no necessarily end goal and we love what we do. We wait, we do it seven days a week. It's exciting and.
We want to just do our little part in this energy transition.
Which I love and I think it's great for me that is not an entrepreneur or a corporate guy. I always envy you guys for you and Chris and all the others we are on that, that can do this. So great and thanks a lot for joining.
Yeah. Thank you for sharing your story with us today. I think it's interesting. I'm still a little reserved. I'm I'm getting my arms around the concept of batteries on wheels solving problems.
You you know, I I hope it's the long term solution. You you say. You know, I I still.
I have a better understanding at the end of this, but I still haven't totally.
I believe that in the future that we can't get power infrastructure in place, but I do believe short term is clearly a problem. In short term maybe longer than than I.
Any final thoughts before we close up? Since I I kind of threw that out there. It's fair to give you a final thought before we closed 'cause I I can't leave you.
With just saying that it's not fair to you so.
Well, like I said.
Even if, even if the market.
Is addressed in 90% of the market is addressed with the traditional infrastructure build out. The remaining 10% is just a massive market and we see it today.
We can't even respond to the phone calls and the requests coming in. So like I said, we're.
Just the portfolio that we have.
That already in place is massive for us, so I think.
You know, the problem is there. We are from the industry. We know what the industry is. We we have a new president at EV Edison that joined us.
His name is Dave Daly. Dave most recently was the President of the largest utility in New Jersey called PSE&G so he's been doing this for over 30 years.
Managing a network of, you know, over 10 gigawatts of power, supplying power reliably and safely.
So we we are experts from the industry, we we are familiar and we know about power and energy infrastructure.
So like I said, even if it's a small percentage, it is such a large market that's going to keep us busy.
For a long time.
Awesome. I wish you well with your company, good growth and hopefully you hit your exit strategy and the timeline you want. Thank you so much for being our guest on the podcast today.
Thank you again for having me.
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