The pandemic may have altered or slowed typical driving habits, but it hasn’t slowed the momentum behind local efforts to accelerate the transition to electrified transportation by innovative Clean Energy NH member EV Launchpad. In this edition of the Clean Energy NH Member Spotlight, we’ll learn more about EV Launchpad’s exciting new developments that make electric vehicle (EV) charging simple, affordable, and accessible.
Run by the team of James Penfold and Gary Bergeron, EV Launchpad has three locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and offers EV charging solutions across Northern New England. For James, whose always been passionate about mobility, the transition to the EV market came naturally following his earlier career with bicycle electronics and lithium ion batteries. Partnering with Gary Bergeron, a longtime electrical contractor with expertise in renewables since the first stages of solar development, was a no-brainer, and now EV Launchpad is on the forefront of the EV charging market in New England.
What sets EV Launchpad apart is their focus on future-proofing, accessibility, and user experience. With clients ranging from homeowners and municipalities installing level 2 charging stations to assisting the NH National Guard with solar and microgrids, the EV Launchpad team is well-versed in helping their clients select the best technology for their unique applications.
EV Launchpad works with their clients to design, build, and install charging stations that will meet the needs of EVs not just today, but in 3-5 years’ time as the industry continues to expand. Right now in New England, we’re not even scratching the surface of what’s going on across the country. While we haven’t reached critical mass of EVs yet, trends show a clear indication that EV adoption is increasing at exponential rates year-over-year, even in a non-ZEV state like NH. According to the July 2019 report for the Office of Strategic Initiatives “Evaluating Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in NH”, the national EV market has grown at an annual rate of 40% since 2012 and NH alone saw a 42.5% increase in new EV registrations between 2017 and 2018. This rapid growth is an important aspect for potential EV charging site hosts to consider, and EV Launchpad offers products and services that meet immediate charging needs while also facilitating simple, inexpensive additions in the future.
Publicly accessible EV charging is critical for facilitating the expansion of the EV market. NH has relatively few public level 2 and level 3 charging stations, especially compared with neighboring states and Canada, and existing charging stations are now often full to capacity. In order to help site hosts install charging stations, EV Launchpad focuses on providing Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) complaint technology that allows owners to mix-and-match the best technology for their needs at an affordable price. This facilitates a competitive marketplace that encourages product development. Think of it as hardware and software that “plays well together” without costing an arm and a leg or committing to one brand for the long-haul. In addition, EV Launchpad offers charging stations that can start out basic but easily swap over to accept payments, track data, and allow site hosts to effectively manage their energy use.
Imagine a very durable EV charging station with a unique pedestal design that gives a high- quality user experience and is simple to install and manage, and you have a clear picture of what EV Launchpad can offer in their “PowerBase”. The systems are designed to be “plug & play” so instead of waiting for a technician, anyone can plug in the charger. Furthermore, the systems are simple to service; instead of the hassle of scheduling a troubleshooter, the system owner can remotely identify the problem and have a new charger sent the next day if necessary, maximizing up-time. And if in five-years there’s newer, better tech, they can easily swap out the old for the next generation charging technology. The turnkey PowerBase system can accommodate 1-4 units and is scalable for the future.
Excitingly, EV Launchpad recently released their new “ChargeDepot”, the world’s first rapid-deployment charging hub. Imagine no need for digging up your parking lot, no downtime, and the complete package for EV charging all-in-one, and you can envision the benefits of ChargeDepot. Designed to utilize existing utility infrastructure, prevent the need for timely and costly installation hassles, and incorporate renewable energy and energy storage to reduce demand charges, ChargeDepot is a significant opportunity for rapid deployment of EV charging stations. EV chargers can drastically increase site hosts demand charges, so incorporating renewable energy such as solar with on-site energy storage is an effective way for site hosts to manage their energy and reduce costs.
EV Launchpad recently finalized the first ChargeDepot pilot, a four-unit station at the XL Fleet headquarters in Massachusetts. XL Fleet is a leader in connected fleet solutions for commercial and municipal vehicles.
ChargeDepot is being used to support charging for XL Fleets’ continued expansion into plug-in vehicle conversions. Next for ChargeDepot is a 20-unit installation, which will occur soon with another partner in New England. ChargeDepot can scale upward from 20 vehicles in four-vehicle increments, allowing for quick deployment of more EV charging, a commonly recognized need across New England to facilitate the fast transition to electric transportation. Learn more about ChargeDepot and EV Launchpad at www.evlaunchpad.com