Atlanta is the nation’s largest market for Electric Vehicles (EVs). When driving around Braves Country today, it’s impossible to miss the thousands of Nissan Leafs on the road around you. While EVs are growing in popularity, the lack of locations for charging them is a major pain point for their owners. Large players such as Texas-based nrg EVgo and Georgia Power are investing in charging infrastructure in the metro area; however, this rapidly changing market is ripe for innovative startups to get in the mix. Founded by a group of mechanical engineering and computer science majors from Georgia, TEQ Charging, is looking to make charging stations available anywhere with their new invention. We recently chatted with one of the co-founders to get the scoop.
Founded by Georgia Tech students Josh Lieberman (CEO), Isaac Wittenstein (COO), and Dorrier Coleman (CTO), “TEQ Charging is creating the world’s first power strip for electric vehicles,” explains Lieberman. “By installing a system of plug-in stations throughout a parking lot/deck, we ensure that every EV driver gets a spot when they need it. By queueing the power between the cars, we ensure that every EV driver gets a charge by the time they need it. By connecting each station in a network, we ensure that the installation cost is significantly reduced.”
Currently there are too many electric vehicles and not enough of a charging infrastructure to support the current amount. This is a major issue for many different groups. “As a driver, you are forced to either charge solely at home or hope to get lucky and find an open charger while out and about. Even so, you still might have to wait for a spot to open up or get charged a premium if you don’t open up the spot for someone else after you,” he continues. “In addition to the drivers, the organizations and property owners that have the chargers installed suffer from the high cost of charging. In a market where the installation cost can exceed the already pricey cost of the chargers themselves, many opt to not install chargers or choose not to install more, which then halts the growth of the EV market as a whole.”
“Our charging system remedies all of these pain points. By queueing the power between cars, we reduce the amount of power infrastructure required, thus heavily reducing the installation costs. This in turn allows us to plug into more cars at once, which eliminates the wait time and frustrations that drivers experience due to the current lack of charging spaces,” says Lieberman. “What this means for the market as a whole is that charging infrastructure can be installed and utilized much more quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, we are able to increase the utility and value of owning and operating an electric vehicle. We believe that this is the future of travel and we intend to do all we can to insure its growth.”
TEQ Charging’s story began when Isaac and Josh were in the Georgia Tech Startup Lab and began investigating the electric vehicle market. After doing some initial interviews, they discovered a large pain in the charging aspect of this rapidly growing industry. “That’s when we began exploring the idea of sequentially charging vehicles. At the same time this was happening, Dorrier was working on a capstone project in the EV market space. After a brief meeting discussing our ideas, we decided to join forces to pursue our vision of changing the way drivers charge their vehicles,” he recalls. “Collectively, we have logged over 300 customer discovery interviews, which have proven to us that we are addressing a real pain point for both the installers of EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) and the drivers themselves.”
“As Georgia Tech students, we benefit not only from Atlanta’s ecosystem, but also the support of the Institute. Through the mentors and coaches we have access to in the Create-X Startup Summer Accelerator, as well as through the Georgia Tech alumni network, we have experienced first-hand the benefit of strong networking. Through Georgia Tech’s startup community, we quickly learned that we need to verify our value propositions with actual end-users,” says Lieberman. “Atlanta truly is the biggest small town out there, and there is no other place we would rather be as we grow our business. We’re confident that an EV charger that can change things in Atlanta is going to change the world.”
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