July 23, 2018
Introducing Volta Charging: A Media-First Approach to EV Charging
Energize Ventures is thrilled to formally announce our investment in Volta Charging, the company developing and operating North America’s largest free electric vehicle charging network. Led by CEO Scott Mercer, COO Chris Wendel, and CMO Drew Lipsher, Volta is at the center of what will be a massive transition in the transportation and power worlds and has been changing the game in EV charging with an exciting business model innovation.
The Transition of Joules
Few trends garner as much attention in the energy industry as the electrification of transportation. And rightly so, as Americans spend a staggering $2 billion every day on petroleum. The persistent advancement of electric vehicle sales drives a structural transfer of “joules” consumption from petroleum to electricity, providing a tailwind to the power space.
As electric vehicle (EV) adoption has grown, so too have the commitments from major automotive OEMs. In recent months, Mercedes, Ford, Nissan and Toyota have made development commitments totaling over $50 billion! A major historical hindrance to EV advancement was a combination of battery density and cost, resulting in low range capabilities for cost-effective battery packs. Due to past investments now yielding results, and ongoing research and development, EV range and battery pack price points are expected to continue to decline.
EV Charging Infrastructure Developments
The Energize team expects public transportation and fleet managers will help drive wide scale electrification. We also believe that the mass market consumer will behave differently — both in their purchasing patterns and their charging habits. With the improvements in battery range, we believe most consumers will predominantly charge at home or at work. This charging matches well with EV range and current customer battery range anxiety. And given these sufficient charging solutions, EV drivers will likely expect intermediate, local charging solutions to be free; otherwise these charging assets will sit idle.
New Technology + New Business Model: Volta Charging
The lower infrastructure costs driven by technological improvements coupled with changing consumer behavior have enabled a new business model within the EV charging space. This convergence of trends drove conviction for the Fund’s investment into Volta Charging. Led by CEO and co-founder, Scott Mercer, Volta Charging is the largest, free electric vehicle charging network in the United States. The company works with premier real estate owners to provide free electric charging stations for both the site and the EV driver. The company has a media-first DNA and offers brands a powerful advertising platform to deliver their messages and make communities more sustainable.
We are excited to work with Scott and his fellow executives, Chris Wendell and Drew Lipsher, and to help scale Volta Charging. The company’s trajectory from 500 to 5,000 sites is within reach and the benefit for site owners, EV drivers, and media partners is imminent.
Finally, we are also thrilled to work with other key investors in this round, including Activate Capital Partners, GE Ventures, Orsted and Nautilus. Joined by existing investors AutoTech and Virgo, this is an exceptional group of co-investors that will cumulatively drive value for Volta Charging as the company continues to scale.