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Exclusive: Electric Era nets $11.5M for AI-driven chargers, led by HSBC

Aug 22, 2023
Illustration of an electric vehicle plugged in to a charging station.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Electric Era, which makes AI-powered fast chargers, has raised a Series A to deploy its EV gear at gas stations and convenience stores, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: A lack of reliable and fast charging stations remains a major barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles, and new software and hardware could boost capacity and reliability.

Details: Electric Era's round was led by HSBC Asset Management, and with participation by SQM, Blackhorn Ventures and Proeza Ventures.

  • The company, founded in 2019, uses batteries and onsite computing systems to fast charge an electric vehicle depending on the capability of the grid.
  • Engineers at the company hail from SpaceX, where some worked on SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet system.

Zoom in: Fast charging EVs takes a lot of energy. Utilities in certain regions are already worried about load spikes from neighborhoods filled with chargers.

  • "This is super hard to do," said Electric Era's founder and CEO Quincy Lee, who was a former manager of engineering at SpaceX.
  • Because Electric Era's chargers, called PowerNodes, can switch over to a battery when needed, Lee says Electric Era's technology can lower the energy needed to fast charge "by a factor of three."
  • The company says the chargers can deliver 100 miles of charge in less than 10 minutes for 100 vehicles per charging station per day.
  • Electric Era sells the chargers to the store owner. Its first customer, Plaid Pantry, will start operating a PowerNode in Portland, Oregon, next month.
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