By Riley Kaminer
There are currently fewer than 50,000 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the US. As consumers continue to ditch their gas guzzlers at a rapid clip, so will the need for places to charge their ride.
Miami startup OBE Power can help. They are enabling the transition to carbon-free mobility by providing EV charging as a service.
“We’re not doing what everyone else in the industry is doing, which is selling or leasing charging stations,” OBE Power’s co-managing director, Alejandro Burgana, told Refresh Miami. Rather, OBE Power installs EV charging locations at no cost to the property owner.
The startup determines the best equipment to use, finds the contractors to set up the charging stations, and deploys their proprietary software platform. Through this software, EV car drivers can locate, activate, and pay for OBE Power’s charging services. According to Burgana, drivers end up paying around eight or nine cents per mile to fuel up. That’s a significant savings when compared to the 17 cents per mile that Floridians with gas-powered vehicles pay on average.
Users pull up, park, and connect to an OBE Power outlet. They are notified when their car is fully charged. After a 30-minute grace period, car owners begin to be charged if they don’t move, in an attempt to keep the chargers open for as many customers as possible.
Condos, office parks, educational institutions, and ballparks are all customers of OBE Power. Since 2015, when OBE Power was launched in its current form, the startup has risen to become the second largest owned and operated electric vehicle charging network in the state of Florida.
Now Burgana, alongside co-managing director Luis Paul, has plans to expand further afield. The company was recently awarded an RFP for the City of Fort Worth – the company’s first install out of Florida. On top of Texas, the company is hoping to increase its presence in Georgia as well.
While OBE Power currently has 300 electric charging points in Florida, they are planning to reach 2,000 stations within the next 12-24 months. To fuel this growth, OBE Power is on track to expand its six-person team to 24 people. They also recently joined EndeavorLAB’s cleantech and climatetech cohort.
2022 might be the year of the EV. The recently-passed US infrastructure bill sets aside $7.5 billion for 500,000 new charging stations. While noting the tailwinds stemming from the government’s economic support of EV charging initiatives, Burgana expressed concern about the stations deteriorating over time due to lack of proper maintenance. He also underscored the importance of making our electric grid smarter.
“We must make sure that it can accommodate all the different demands and different peak times for all of these new mobility systems that are going to get electrified over the course of the next five to 10 years,” Burgana said.
Burgana and team doubling down on these trends. “We are always raising capital to continue fuelling our expansion,” he said. Burgana is also optimistic about the future of carbon-free mobility in Miami, applauding Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s efforts to decarbonize the fleet of municipal vehicles, including public buses.
Photo at top of post: Left to right, Ro Achon, CTO; Alejandro Burgana, co-founder & Managing Director; Luis Paul, co-founder & Managing Director; Julia Wilkinson, CRO. All photos provided by OBE Power.
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