Brooklyn-based startup itselectric earned the 2023 SXSW Innovation Award for Urban Infrastructure this week for its “Power From the People” curbside electric vehicle charging concept. The company aims to make curbside charging posts available to cities and property owners at no cost, with the company managing installation and maintenance of the level 2, 240-volt chargers. Residential property owners will have the opportunity to earn passive income from the chargers, with the amount varying based on electricity rates and charger use, it says.
“The U.S. is on the cusp of a major transition into electric vehicles, but solutions need to be in place in order for this transition to be successful,” said Nathan King, CEO and co-founder of itselectric, in a press release.
As sales of electric vehicles continue to grow, the demand for EV chargers for residents in multifamily dwellings increases. McKinsey & Co. projects a need for 1.2 million public chargers by 2030 in the U.S.
The company’s concept “is an efficient and cost-effective solution for any city where people park on the street,” it says on its website. It uses a “behind-the-meter” connection that obviates the need to work directly with electric utilities, it says. Almost any structure that has a curb and an electrical meter, including single-family and multifamily homes and commercial or public buildings, could be candidates for installation, it notes. It works with each city to ensure that “necessary permits and permissions are in place.”
The startup closed a $2.2 million pre-seed funding round March 7. The funds will be used to establish pilot programs in major cities across the U.S. this year, itselectric said in a press release. A spokesperson told Smart Cities Dive that itselectric doesn’t have any chargers currently installed, but it will deploy a pilot program in Brooklyn at the end of April.