Electric cars are increasing in popularity, but many owners are finding it difficult to charge their vehicles in their power-strapped apartment garages. Evercharge, an Emeryville-based startup, makes a charger for multiple cars despite low power flows.
The problem is that many older garages can’t support numerous charging stations. To solve that, the company focused on the fact that as lithium ion batteries near the end of a charge, they accept less energy. Instead of letting this energy go to waste, Evercharge’s stations send it to other charging cars which can use it.
“Instead of trying to pack in this energy which the battery won’t accept, it gets diverted to other stations,” marketing director Joseph Nagle said. He added that such power allocation allows a garage to support up to 10 times as many chargers.
CEO and founder Jason Appelbaum came up with the idea in 2013, when he bought an electric car and found charging it in his Emeryville apartment to be a pain. He also found that rigging the communal garage with more power would be costly. So he put his computer science degree and prior work experience as a software engineer to use and founded Evercharge.
So far, the company has raised $1.85 million in investor funding, and has installed stations nationally, primarily in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. The company collects a $15 per month membership fee for use of their stations.
Despite its growth, Evercharge has stayed in Emeryville because of its low rent and an abundance of space. While their charger stations are manufactured in China, the company fixes them with its power diversion component in a garage next to its headquarters.
But after recently hiring its seventh employee, the company is outgrowing its small office and will soon look for more space. Nagle said the real estate market has become more competitive in the East Bay as many companies are moving in from more expensive areas like San Francisco and Silicon Valley.