The electric vehicle (EV) market continues to dominate headlines thanks to record-breaking sales of the vehicles reaching new heights in 2021 with the trend continuing well into 2022. In line with record growth of EVs is also an increased need for not just EV batteries but also for the devices that charge them.
Putting it simply, EV charging solutions are equipment that connects the EV to a source of electricity in order to recharge the vehicle. These stations are also commonly called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and can be found at gas station/convenience stores and parking lots for retail outlets, office buildings, sporting arenas, and condominiums.
As the EV and EV battery market continues gaining traction, so too is the need for EV charging solutions, and North America is becoming a major hub for the market. Case in point, the EV charging station market across North America is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.5% between 2021 and 2028 to reach US$19.20 billion, while units are expected to grow at a CAGR of 28.2% during the same forecast period to reach 1.8 million units by 2028.
According to the 2022 Bloomberg Intelligence Global Battery-Electric Vehicles Outlook released in June, the U.S. necessitates “a sixfold increase in average annual public charging installations over the next four years” if it’s to meet federal requirements. The report also stated, “A big push is needed to scale up the industry quick enough so charging infrastructure is installed in time to support the expected electric vehicle fleet”.
Meet Indie Power Systems Inc. (P.IPS, Forum), a Plano, Texas-based company that is focused on providing high-quality and dependable, customer-centric EV charging solutions both globally and in North America.
In an interview with The Market Herald, Indie Power Systems’ Bern Leonard explained that the company’s goal is to engineer an E-mobility solution in the 150kW-180kW range, a DC fast charge that can be deployed in a single drop.
As the demand for EVs continues to accelerate, companies like Indie Power Systems are becoming more integral in the market — especially when it comes to improving the user experience.
The company’s solutions
At its core, the company is heavily focused on the overall user experience and using best-in-class available technology and products in order to reduce the need for extensive development. This means Indie Power getting to market with its DCFC platform faster, reducing R&D spend, reducing compliance risk, and working collaboratively with key suppliers to take advantage of future hardware and software developments.
Leonard said this includes ease of installation, set up and focusing on the human/machine experience by implementing innovative software solutions.
“We’re using the best available products, so we’re integrating commercial and technical supply chain partnerships with some global companies to identify the best available products and the best available software in the market and development in order to bring a product to market,” Leonard said.
In addition to the 150kW DC fast charger, Leonard said that the company is also looking at an AC charging 22kW solution that would be more complimentary to fleet applications.
“[Indie Power Systems] is trying to support everything with data-driven solutions so that we can focus on the reliability of assets, uptime of the assets, optimize the assets, sustain the assets and give the customer access to … better manage the overall system,” Leonard said.
In sum, Leonard said the company’s focus is software, the hardware itself, how to find the best available in the supply chain on a global basis and, of course innovation. He explained the company’s first priority is to get commercial and get a top-quality solution on the market — on the Emobility, fast-charging, AC charging and microgrid solutions.
“We’re constantly going to be looking to innovate,” he said. “We want to come out of the gate with something that’s actually going to be innovative and understand what the current headaches [in the market] are.”
Indie Power Systems’ key partnerships
Leonard told The Market Herald that the company has two key partnerships with Platinum Electrical Engineering and Radical Ingenuity Group (RIG) to help execute its goals.
Platinum Electrical Engineering is a specialist engineering company that is working towards new bleeding edge projects and products and leveraging digitalization. Platinum Electrical Engineering has a proven track record in providing innovative machinery, products and software integration.
RIG is a compliance engineering consultancy with a strong background in the energy sector and provides expert product compliance services, a key risk factor in the product development cycle, that has to be closely monitored and managed.
“We’ve signed service agreements and memorandums of understanding with both Platinum and RIG,” Leonard said. “They’re our lead on the product development engineering side, and have taken over project management and functional design specifications,” adding that the two companies are critical to Indie Power Systems’ development cycle.
The need for the company’s solutions in North America
In our interview, Leonard — who had just returned from Europe — said that the EV market in that region is much more advanced when compared to that in North America, explaining that “Europeans use their vehicles much more differently than North Americans.”
He added that Europeans are urban and have shorter commute times while public transit is much more readily available. Leonard exemplified how quick it is to get across the United Kingdom — in just a few hours on the train — while a state like Texas would take much longer through a different method of transportation — like an electric vehicle.
“[North America] doesn’t have the infrastructure investments in public transit like [Europe does with] Eurail,” he said, explaining that North Americans are much more likely to jump in their vehicles to get to where they need to.
As the rise of electric vehicles continues ramping up across North America, this is fueling the demand for more charging stations that are primarily located at gas stations across the continent; however, the question of how do these gas stations generate revenue while customers are on the property while their vehicles charge also comes into play.
“[Stations will] have them for 20 to 30 minutes,” Leonard said. “Never underestimate the power of the American consumer.” He went on to add the importance of finding new revenue streams, giving customers options and purchasing power.
Leonard further said that part of it comes down to how the customer uses the vehicle, and with them now at a charging station for approximately a half-hour, what kind of additional revenue can be generated?
“For the owners of the infrastructure, I think they want to be able to optimize their assets. They want to be able to upsell people on the service they’re providing and ultimately, they want to be able to monetize it, and I think from a software and data perspective, being able to manage the assets in an efficient manner, as well as driving down the total cost of ownership, as well as I think ultimately really enhancing the overall human-machine experience is really critical,” Leonard said in a previous interview.
The leadership team
Leonard told The Market Herald that the company is being “very strategic” and building its bench by adding key people from the industry to give Indie Power Systems a leg up on its peers in the space.
He explained this also gives the company commercial access to vendors — whether it’s customers or credibility with the marketplace.
Bern Leonard, CEO
Bern Leonard is a leader and energy executive with over 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Leonard has extensive start-up, growth and business integration experience and is passionate about building and developing high-performance teams. Leonard has also served as a director at Energy Capital Credit Union. Leonard holds an MBA from the University of Calgary.
Michael Townsend, director
Michael Townsend has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance. Townsend is one of Altus Capital Partners’ founding partners, a boutique investment bank based out of Vancouver, BC that raised over $180 million in equity financing over a five-year period. Townsend also co-founded Hemptown, Patriot One Technologies and Body and Mind Inc.
Zayn Kalyan, director
Zayn Kalyan is an experienced investment banker and business development executive. Kaylan began his career as a software engineer and has a background that includes the “ground-up” development of startup technology companies. Since joining Indie Power Systems, Kaylan has played an instrumental role in generating over $50 million in financing. In addition to his role, Kalyan has served in upper management and on boards of a range of public companies since 2014. Kalyan also has extensive hands-on experience in the day-to-day management of small and mid-sized companies.
Bob Gaylen, Advisory Board Member
Bob Gaylen is an energy storage technology executive that has extensive experience with a wide range of corporations. In addition to his advisory role with Indie Power Systems, Gaylen was formerly CTO Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited, which is the world’s largest battery manufacturer.
Gaylen specializes in clean technology, lithium-ion battery systems used in electric vehicles and has held the Chairmanship of SAE International Battery Standards Steering Committee for five years.
The investment opportunity
Although Indie Power Systems is currently a privately held company, investors can get a taste for both the emerging market and the company through its current private placement. The company is raising $1 million at $0.25 per unit, which consists of one common share and one 1/2 warrant at $0.50 (for a period of two years).
The company presents itself as a unique investment opportunity becausethe charging station fits into the microgrid management economy. In tandem with this, the North American market is projected to eat up tons of market share in the coming years and Indie Power Systems is poised to be a game-changer in the space.
As the company gears up for a prototype of its charging platform in Q3 and potentially commercialized product by the end of the year, Indie Power Systems will be a unique story to watch for.
Visit Indie Power System’s Deal Room for details.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by The Market Herald.