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TeraWatt Infrastructure raises $1B to scale EV charging network

Company operates large-scale electric vehicle charging centers nationwide

TeraWatt currently has sites in 18 states planned for its EV charging centers, which will resemble the rendering pictured above (Photo: TeraWatt)

The money just keeps flowing into the electric vehicle industry.

On Tuesday, EV fleet charging company TeraWatt Infrastructure announced that it has raised over $1 billion to support the expansion of its growing network of charging stations. The massive raise was led by Vision Ridge Partners, with participation from existing investors Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital.

If you’ve never heard of TeraWatt, you probably aren’t alone — that’s because the company just emerged from stealth in May 2021. A billion dollars seems like a lot of money to throw at such a young company, but it was actually founded in 2018, back when the EV movement was still using training wheels.

In the time between then and TeraWatt’s grand reveal last year, the company began to acquire properties in places it deemed strategically important to fleets. But unlike most EV charging companies, which typically install only a handful of charging stations in each location, TeraWatt is looking to build large-scale charging hubs with aisles of reservable chargers.

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“Fleets are electrifying faster than ever, and we have been hard at work planning, building charging centers and scaling up to make this transition easier for fleets,” said Neha Palmer, co-founder and CEO of TeraWatt. “We are thrilled to receive this additional capital commitment from Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital, along with new support from Vision Ridge, which is well recognized for its track record of investing in and growing EV charging platforms.”

TeraWatt works with fleets that use light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles. Its charging center sites are currently in 18 states, positioned in places like core metro areas, logistic hubs and important highway corridors. The company is actively developing several of those locations into charging hubs, with the first deployments slated for the Western U.S.

Charging infrastructure for electric passenger vehicles is already well established in the U.S. But for large fleets, those chargers don’t quite cut it. The challenge is the massive amount of electricity required to power larger fleets and vehicles, a problem Palmer and her team are looking to solve.

Realistically, commercial charging stations could command between five and 20 times the amount of energy required for a station serving personal vehicles. That’s according to Benjamin Birnbaum, partner at KeyFrame Capital and one of TeraWatt’s founders.

“Either transportation operators are going to need to build large, high-voltage infrastructure out to their existing sites, or they’re going to need to move to locations that have that much grid capacity,” Birnbaum told The Wall Street Journal.

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But Palmer, Birnbaum and the rest of TeraWatt see tailwinds coming for the EV charging industry.

Among them is President Joe Biden’s executive order mandating that half of all commercial vehicle sales be electric by the end of the decade. There’s also the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivizes businesses to invest in EV chargers by offering additional tax credits. Congress estimated that $1.7 billion in tax credits will be claimed over the next 10 years.

There are also some potential tailwinds in the private sector. General Motors, for example, said in July that it plans to build a coast-to-coast EV charging network with travel operator Pilot. At the same time, young EV charging companies like ChargePoint and Tritium have made their names known in the industry, which is rife with funding from institutional investors.

“While we’re proud of TeraWatt’s current scale and all that Neha and the team have achieved so far, it barely scratches the surface as global investments in electric vehicle charging are expected to approach $1 trillion by 2040,” said Birnbaum. “We’re delighted to welcome Vision Ridge to the investor team and believe this injection of capital positions TeraWatt to be the backbone of this emerging industry.”

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Jack Daleo

Jack is a staff writer for FreightWaves and Modern Shipper covering topics like last mile delivery and e-commerce fulfillment. He studied at Northwestern University, majoring in journalism with a certificate in integrated marketing communications. Previously, Jack has written for Backpacker Magazine and enjoys travel, the outdoors, and all things basketball.