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SpaceX veterans want to tackle EV "gas stations"

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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