Resilient Power has announced a $5 million seed round of investment as it looks to build an alternative power option for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The round, led by Energy Transition Ventures, with investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and GS Futures, the corporate venture capital arm of GS Group from Korea, is the first round from outside investors. The company had previously received $3 million in funding through contracts and grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, Savannah River National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“The future of clean energy brings a massive shift in the way we distribute and store power. As we speak, our electrical grid is undergoing a massive transformation. As transportation transitions to electric, we must consider how to deploy charging stations at mass scale without jeopardizing the grid,” Tom Keister, CEO of Resilient Power, said in a statement. “Our partnership with The Amazon Climate Pledge Fund will allow us to build the infrastructure our customers need to support and accelerate EV adoption, and then later expand our technology to other renewables, storage and microgrid markets.”
Some observers have raised concern that as more passenger and commercial vehicle makers roll out electric vehicles, the nation’s antiquated electrical grid would not be able to supply the power necessary to charge them without a massive upgrade. It is estimated that if every American drove an electric car, it would require 25% more electricity than is needed today.
Just the ability to charge multiple vehicles in a single location today requires an upgrade in most cases of the infrastructure at that location. That is what Resilient is trying to solve.
The Atlanta-based energy company is bringing to market solid-state transformer-based electric vehicle fast-charging technology. Unlike current charging systems, Resilient’s system combines a traditional step-down transformer, charger, power management, and bi-directional inverter in a single, flexible, high-efficiency power router.
The company said the system installs in one-tenth of the time and offers solar and storage, vehicle-to-grid, and microgrid capabilities in a single unit. However, it doesn’t require storage as other systems do, which allows any number of vehicles to charge without time restrictions. Resilient supports battery storage options for peak demand management or microgrid operation.
The solid-state transformer is capable of directly connecting to up to 24 vehicles, and to direct-current or alternating-current sources on a medium voltage line on the existing grid, the company said. It further explained that a single unit can be plugged directly into overhead or underground power lines.
“Electrifying Amazon’s delivery fleets is a critical piece of ensuring our company meets the goals of The Climate Pledge and achieves net zero carbon emissions by 2040,” Kara Hurst, Amazon vice president and head of worldwide sustainability, said. “We plan to have 100,000 electric vehicles deployed on the roads by 2030, which is projected to save millions of metric tons of carbon per year. Resilient Power is building products that accelerate the deployment of EV charging systems everywhere we deliver packages to customers, and its technology could help bolster our infrastructure to support our vehicles and drivers.”
Resilient said it would use the new funding to run an EV charging pilot with large fleet owners and expand its sales and marketing efforts to commercialize its product.
“EV fast charging just happens to be a great first product for this technology, in a market that is growing fast and needs the size, cost and power advantages it brings. But the real promise is using that same technology not just to charge a battery, but to natively enable charging and storage, microgrids, resiliency, and vehicle-to-grid with the same product,” Neal Dikeman, partner and co-founder of Energy Transition Ventures, said. “Our grid is more than 100 years old; we’re going to rewrite it. We are excited to work with The Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and the Resilient Power team as they work towards revolutionizing the grid.”