Range anxiety is one of the biggest concerns among potential electric car buyers.
“It’s that same anxiety you would feel when your phone is on 10 percent… but now it’s your vehicle,” started Josh Aviv, of SparkCharge.
Aviv’s startup wants to change that by bringing the charging station to drivers.
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They’ve created a mobile charging station called the Roadie and an app called Currently that delivers charging on demand.
“We believe that if you can remove the barriers to owning an electric vehicle you can actually increase electric vehicle adoption at a much faster rate,” explained Aviv.
Aviv got his first EV in college and came up with the idea of being able to charge anywhere.
After four years of development, he created the Roadie, a stackable system of mobile batteries that can charge an EV on the go.
“It’s kind of like LEGO blocks… you stack the units together to increase the amount of miles going into the car,” said Aviv.
The system got the attention of Shark Tank.
“We were very fortunate to get Mark Cuban and Lori Grenier to invest in our company… and they’ve been amazing partners so far,” said Aviv.
Right now, you can’t buy the portable charger yourself. They’ve only being sold to businesses like roadside assistance companies. When I asked if they might make a consumer version you could keep in your trunk for emergencies, Aviv said something to the effect of “perhaps.”
For now, consumers must rely on SparkCharge’s Currently app, which will bring a 50-mile charge to you with plans starting at $25 a month. I suspect most people will schedule a charge while their car is parked somewhere, like work. SparkCharge says their system “generates 15 miles of range in just 15 minutes.”
Kia is also partnering with the app to give its EV buyers two free months of on demand charging.
“Seeing the look on people’s faces when they see the technology, seeing the look on people’s faces when it gets delivered to them and they’re actually getting their car charged somewhere that’s not a charging station for the first time that’s really the most gratifying part,” concluded Aviv.