Enteligent Raises $7 Million Seed Round for Solar-to-EV Charging Technology
Company to commercialize first DC-to-DC charger for residential and commercial real estate
Enteligent, a developer of solar power and electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies, announced Wednesday that it has raised $7 million in capital from strategic and institutional investors to fast-track the commercialization of its proprietary solar platform — what it calls the world’s first DC-to-DC solar hybrid bi-directional EV charger.
The seed round included investments by several strategic investors such as NOVA, the venture arm of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, and Taronga Ventures, a leading real-asset technology investor, as well as other institutional investors.
Enteligent’s charger, which it plans to start shipping at the end of June or in early July, is powered directly from the sun, taking it off the grid and eliminating the inefficient conversion of direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), according to the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company. Its fluid DC-to-DC transmission allows users to maximize their kilowatt energy, thereby reducing energy consumption and cost, said Burke.
“We take the DC energy directly to our EV charger, so it’s DC in, DC out to save a lot of the energy that’s oftentimes lost during those conversions,” said Sean Burke, founder and CEO of Enteligent, in explaining how his company connects its solar panel technology directly to EV charging stations. “We envisioned it going to residential rooftops, but what we got was tremendous desire from small commercial property owners, and then even larger property owners, to utilize this as a part of their infrastructure for clean energy and EV charging.”
Bypassing the conversion of solar DC power to household AC on an electrical grid system can save up to 25 percent of energy lost in that process, he added. Enteligent customers can store their solar power in large home batteries or directly recharge their EV, which is the hybrid part of the process, he said.
In addition, the bi-directional part of the process comes from customers being able to send power from their EV to their home or to the electrical grid, which produces energy savings for the consumer through utilities’ demand response programs, Burke said. Demand response provides an opportunity for consumers to play a significant role in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives.
“The grid is really not set up to be able to provide for all of the peaks [in energy use],” Burke said. “So in utilizing your home storage or electric vehicle storage to supplement the grid in those peak times, the utility companies are willing to provide a significant discount on the energy that you’re actually consuming from the grid. That’s the part that is bi-directional. That’s the reason why you should allow it to be used by the utility.”
Enteligent’s goal is to make it more affordable and convenient to charge during the day, as compared to the current process where EVs are mainly charged overnight via a grid that uses electricity created by burning fossil fuels.
As the proliferation of EVs increasingly strains the grid’s ability to handle the growth in energy demand, Enteligent’s proprietary solar EV chargers expedite a fundamental shift to clean, solar-based, daytime charging, according to the company.
“There is an increasing demand for EV charging to become more readily available, and we are seeing this across our real asset partners globally,” said Avi Naidu, managing partner at Taronga Ventures. “Enteligent’s DC-input EV charger provides a step-change in the energy efficiency and price point of EV fast chargers, which is needed to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in commercial assets.”
Philip Russo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.