Seattle tech giant Amazon and Korean venture capital firm GS Futures have awarded Resilient Power, a startup based in Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, with $5 million in seed funding to build solid-state transformer-based EV charging system that can become a microgrid in a box.
While Resilient Power has previously received capital from contracts and grants with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US Department of Energy and the Savannah River National Laboratory, this $5 million funding round is the company’s first from independent, outside investors.
The seed funding was led by Energy Transition Ventures and includes an investment from Amazon’s $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, which aims to decarbonize the company’s operations for net-zero emissions by 2040.
Amazon has said that its investment in Resilient Power is specifically designed to help electrify its transportation fleet, as the company hopes to deploy 100,000 electric vehicles by 2030.
While the restrictive pace of nationwide EV infrastructure development can limit the goals of fleet electrification for companies like Amazon, Resilient Power’s solid-state transformer-based systems are designed to reduce the installation time and physical footprint for bulk vehicle charging stations to one-tenth of today’s averages.
Resilient Power has also stated that its stations do not require expensive distribution grid upgrades. Instead, the solid-state transformers can be plugged directly into overhead or underground power lines, supplying both DC or AC electricity for up to 24 vehicles.
Beyond grid power, Resilient Power’s system can also be considered a microgrid in a box, each with an optional battery component to simultaneously handle solar plus storage, vehicle to grid and off-grid capabilities within the same unit.
“EV fast charging just happens to be a great first product for this technology, in a market that is growing fast and needs the size, cost, and power advantages it brings. But the real promise is using that same technology not just to charge a battery, but to natively enable charging + storage, microgrids, resiliency, and vehicle-to-grid with the same product,” says Neal Dikeman, partner and co-founder of Energy Transition Ventures. “Our grid is more than 100 years old; we’re going to rewrite it. We are excited to work with The Amazon Climate Pledge Fund and the Resilient Power team as they work towards revolutionizing the grid.
In addition to its investment in Resilient Power, Amazon has also announced a portion of the Climate Pledge Fund will be invested in the Italian company CMC Machinery. The partnership is designed to reduce single-use plastics in Amazon’s shipments by utilizing CMC’s technology to customize box sizes for delivered items.
Amazon is also providing a second round of funding for Infinium, a Sacramento, California, “electrofuel” producer developing ultra-low carbon fuels for freight and air transport to reduce supply chain emissions.
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