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Tech startup SparkCharge to roll out an on-demand EV charging service

SparkCharge, the creator of the portable electric vehicle charging system the Roadie, is partnering with Allstate Roadside, Spiffy, HONK Technologies, and Mark Cuban to launch BoostEV, an on-demand mobile EV charging network.

SparkCharge is launching the new service first in 12 cities including New York, Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. EV owners can order a charge to be delivered to their vehicles by using SparkCharge’s BoostEV mobile app, SparkCharge said in an emailed statement. 

The company plans to open up in a different city every month after February and roll out the service in 25 cities by the end of 2021.

SparkCharge was founded in 2017 with the goal to build the world’s largest mobile electric vehicle charging network through hardware, software, and partnerships. It’s Roadie Charging System is a portable modular charging solution that makes charging accessible regardless of infrastructure.

EV

Using the portable Roadie charging system Courtesy of SparkCharge

Allstate Roadside, a roadside assistance service provider, and HONK Technologies, the digital platform connecting drivers and towing professionals, and the other partners will bring the portable Roadie charging system to charge vehicles that need a charge, the company said. 

“Our relationship with SparkCharge supports our commitment to providing innovative solutions and a circle of protection for customers,” said Joan Trach, Allstate Roadside Chief Operating Officer in the statement.

Spiffy, a car-care service company, is joining BoostEV to offer charging as a service alongside mobile car wash, disinfection, tire changing, among other services, according to SparkCharge’s statement. 

“Our goal is to basically be the fastest-growing EV charging network in the United States because we can be anywhere anytime,” SparkCharge founder and CEO Josh Aviv told Insider. “With us it’s like take it out of the box, plug it into a car, and you’re charging the car.”

A shift to electric vehicles has been underway in the auto industry as EV sales are expected to grow worldwide, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. Over 30% of the global passenger vehicle fleet is expected to be electric by 2040, according to the report.

The US’s EV market share is expected to grow, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, but its growth is likely to be slower than in China and Europe, reaching 15% to 35% by 2030. The slow pace of growth mainly depends on oil prices and incentives provided with EV purchases, according to the report.

Aviv said that the EV industry needs an infrastructure that can scale and grow with the market, adding that typical EV infrastructure could take a few months before it becomes operational as it deals with the grid limitations, construction, and permits.

Additionally, EV owners who want to charge their cars may have to wait in line for service if the station has a limited capacity for vehicles.

“Every time I have to go to the supercharger, it’s a planned event that I need to plan my day, my route, and my journey along where this charging station might be located,” Aviv said. “With BoostEV on-demand charging on our phones, EV owners have access to a network that meant to give them back their freedom that those legacy charging station companies can’t offer.”

SparkCharge’s partners are responsible for setting the pricing for the BoostEV charging service, but Aviv said that the price of a full charge, including the delivery costs and other expenses, might go as little as $10.

The company also aims to eliminate EV charging deserts by making EV charging accessible in different areas where average- and low-income families and individuals live.

 “I think BoostEV has the potential and power to remove the barrier to EV adoption because now you don’t need to access a charging station,” said Aviv. 

He added that for EV adoption to take off here in America, the industry needs to make EV adoption available to everyone including frontline communities who have been “underrepresented.”

In October, SparkCharge was featured on the season premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank where it announced plans for BoostEV.

 Other companies are also joining the EV charging infrastructure boost. Royal Dutch Shell recently revealed new details about its push into cleaner energy as part of a pledge to reach zero emissions by 2050. 

Shell also aims to double the amount of electricity it sells over the next decade and increase its electric vehicle charging points. 

The company plans to launch 500,000 electric charging stations in four years, according to TechCrunch.

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