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SpaceX veterans want to tackle EV "gas stations"

Megan Hernbroth
Nov 17, 2022
Illustration of an electric vehicle plugged in, the charging wire has dollar bill signs running inside of it towards the car.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Electric Era, a charging infrastructure startup started by a team of former SpaceX employees, raised $4 million in seed funding for the initial rollout of its EV charging stations.

Why it matters: Fast and reliable charging infrastructure remains one of the largest barriers to widespread EV adoption in the U.S.

Details: Blackhorn Ventures, Proeza Ventures and Liquid 2 Ventures led the all-equity round, which also included existing investor Remus Capital. Electric Era has raised $8 million to date.

  • The company has also teamed up with charging tech company SK Signet.

How it works: Electric Era makes fast-charging stations it calls PowerNodes that are designed for convenience-store parking lots, CEO Quincy Lee tells Axios.

  • The stations' power comes primarily from batteries, which helps alleviate some of the demand pulled from the grid, and is paid for by convenience-store owners via utility bills.
  • Electric Era is building the batteries for the chargers in-house.
  • It is purchasing the chargers from SK Signet, Lee exclusively tells Axios.

Quick take: Electric Era is trying to replicate the gas station model — vehicle fuel combined with convenience-store amenities — with EV chargers.

  • But longer "fuel ups" common with EV charging still means drivers need to have something to do while they wait, and this model doesn't yet address that.
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