Car manufacturers as well as governments in many countries support a rapid growth with electric vehicles (EVs). Regardless, the sale of EVs have not evolved as expected due to a few remaining hurdles such as the long time needed for charging. Powerswap has the potential to change this and become the component that makes the EV market take off. Great opportunities are not enough as a feasible plan is needed to find a start and then a success. Powerswap focuses on the segment of the market which has the biggest challenges with long charging time, the taxi companies.
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The problem this product solves
Electric vehicles are efficient, but today they require sacrifices by the users, the charging problems.
During the last few years EVs with bigger batteries have been introduced. These have reduced the range anxiety, but an undesirable effect is that the time for charging has become longer. Charging mostly require many hours. Although "Superchargers" have reduced it to half to one hour, it is still too long in comparison with fossil cars which are refueld in 2-3 minutes. To simply use more power is not suitable way as it generates tremendous stress on both the battery chemicals and the grid.
How the product solves it
Powerswap means a radical way to get the energy into the car. A robot will pull out the empty battery from the car and replace it with a fully charged one. The charging will take place in the battery storage where charging can be made under harmonious conditions with enough time. This means:
- No time needed for charging
- The car is not blocked from usage
- No handling of a cord
- An infrastructure based on battery swap units can be established at fuel stations and parking lots.
- No sacrifices, the EV will be better than the fossil car in all respects
The system operates with 1-2 flat batteries which are stored in a battery compartment at the bottom of the car. In the long perspective these will become a part of the bottom plate, but the first step is to to add a battery cassette underneath the bottom.
Powerswap will exchange the battery completely automatic. The empty battery is sent to the storage for charging and a fully charged one is inserted into the car. The whole operation is made in Drive-thru, fast and convenient. Once the battery is swapped, the driver will get green light and exit the station.
Product use cases
With a network of Powerswap units installed at existing fuel stations and parking lots, we will get an infrastructure for long range driving as well as a solution for those drivers who are living in the cities and do not have access to charging at home or charging at work. This group in Sweden include 50 percent of all drivers and in many countries up to 90 percent of all drivers. Further, an infrastructure based on a Powerswap network is economically favourable compared to the alternative to install a big number of charging poles in public areas.
Sten Corfitsen CEO
Sten is the founder of Powerswap as well of Fuelmatics (robotic refueling). He holds a Master of Scence in Industrial Mechanics and has previous experiences from product developments and product management at IBM, InterInnovation, Esselte and sales and marketing experiences at Royal Dutch Philips.
Peter Strömberg Vice President / COO
Peter has a batchelor degree in electronic engineering. He is the co-founder of both Fuelmatics and Powerswap and has acted as the chief operating officer as well as beeing in charge for all kind of systems developments. Other experiences are from work as development manager at Philips and as CEO ... See more
Peter has a batchelor degree in electronic engineering. He is the co-founder of both Fuelmatics and Powerswap and has acted as the chief operating officer as well as beeing in charge for all kind of systems developments. Other experiences are from work as development manager at Philips and as CEO for Peek Traffic and Neos Robotics. See less
Alexander Larsson Development Manager
Alexander studied electrical engineering with focus on programming and has a background in industrial automation, electronics design and quality control with vision systems.Robotics and the intricacy of complex systems has always been a fascination. Hobbies involves tinkering with different electronics projects and trying to keep a vintage sports car on ... See more
Alexander studied electrical engineering with focus on programming and has a background in industrial automation, electronics design and quality control with vision systems.Robotics and the intricacy of complex systems has always been a fascination. Hobbies involves tinkering with different electronics projects and trying to keep a vintage sports car on the road. See less
Susanne Engström Chief Financial Officer
Susanne has a degree in market economy and has earlier acted as back office manager at Swedbank. Her earlier experiences also include running her own agency business representing a number of german fashion companies.
Hans Lundgren Business Advisor
Hans holds a Master of Science in enginering physics as well as a MBA from Stockholm School of Economics. He has worked as a consultant for McKinsey, Vattenfall and as partner at Sustainable Technology Fund.
Ragnar Elmquist Software Manager
Ragnar has extensive experiences from software system development and management. He also has previous experiences from IT start ups.
Christer Gåhltorp Business Advisor
Christer holds a BSc from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has made an international career at Facit AB, Husqvarna, Electrolux with a number of senior positions within sales and marketing.He has extensive experiences from various start-ups.
John Reyhani US Representative
John is Vice President for Powerswaps sister company Fuelmatics and is also representing Powerswap in USA.
The automotive industry is the biggest in the world. Todays 1,3 billion cars are filled up 50 billion times a year. Governments in all countries are trying to support the growth with EVs. Although Powerswap is aiming towards the car manufacturers and battery makers, the initial efforts are to start with car fleets which have operating difficulties with charging stops. Taxi companies, post distribution, courier services have all problems with long charging stops as they are operating in many shifts with limited time available for charging.
Lately Powerswap received a Letter of Intent from a big taxi company in Sweden.
The established charging solution is to connect the cord and wait until the battery is full. This takes too long for most drivers who are used to fill their fossil car in three minutes. A new solution is required before the EV is the obvious better alternative. The need for battery swap solutions is understood in China. In Beijing 100 swap stations are serving about 3000 taxi cars. These stations require 200 sqm compared with 12 sqm for Powerswap. Following the big difference in complexity a Chinese station cost 1,4 MEUR while Powerswap is only 175 000 EUR.
Unique differentiator from competitors
Powerswap robots units will be installed at petrol stations and parking lots in a similar way fuel pumps are today. The Chinese alternative is to establish and build a separate stations which require plenty of space. The batteries are delivered from the storage underneath the driveway and then up in the middle of the car. An attendant is present 24/7 while Powerswap is completely automatic. Powerswap brings the battery in from the side directly from the storage and the swap service is performed in drive thru, fast and convenient for the driver.
Company revenue streams
- Sale of battery swap units to infrastructure builders
- Licensing agreements and contracts for key components to system providers
- Licensing agreements with battery makes
- Licensing agreements with car manufacturers
- Technical consultancy work related to battery swap
Our main interest is to sell battery swap units to infrastructure providers like power companies, oil companies and retailers who want to sell electricity to the drivers. As we do not have our own manufactuirng facilities, the supply will be based on subcontractors in a similar way Powerswaps sister company Fuelmatics is already doing. We will also offer licensing business together with sale of key components to battery makers and other system providers.
- 2011, business idea was created as a spin-off from Fuelmatics AB
- 2011, first patent application was filed
- 2013, Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) made a decision in 2013 to support the basic development with 6,5 MSEK
- 2013, collaboration agreement was signed with ECar AB for the supply of a modified Fiat Cubo EV for battery swap
- 2014, first patent approved
- 2014-2015, alternative solutions created for Fiat CuboEV, Tesla and Renault ZOE
- 2015, collaboration agreement with Begins in South Korea
- 2016, MOU signed with InfraNeu in Germany
- 2017, Letter of Intent from Taxi Stockholm
- 2017, collaboration start with Chinese battery maker
Next key objectives
1. (Q3 2018) To build 2-3 demonstration units by the help of our development team and external subcontractors. This will include a small number of battery packs from the Chinese partner and to make necessary adaptations on the Renault Zoe cars.
2. (Q4 2018) Use demonstrators to obtain 1-2 orders for pilot installations in Stockholm and in Beijing together with taxi companies such as Taxi Stockholm. Renault Zoe cars will be modified by ECar for use in the pilot programs.
3. (Q1 2019) Goals are to obtain orders from, company fleet operators like taxis and courier companies.
So far a total of about 14 MSEK have been invested in the project. The Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) has supported the basic development with 6,5 MSEK. Funding has been made by sister company Fuelmatics AB as well as by the founder via company and a group of 60 shareholders. The company has further obtained a limited long time loan from its shareholders.
Use of funds
The first priority is to build and get the first demonstrator in place and to start the marketing activities with the aim to get market recognition and orders for pilot installations.
The organisation will be expanded with sales representants and technical support engineers to be able to handle 1-2 pilot projects and prepare for serial production. Discussions regarding manufacturing is ongoing with a Chinese company. Marketing will be enhanced with PR and participation at international car shows. The funds will also be used for work with next step financing. An application for EU funding is in progress.
It is an urgent need to speed up the use of electric vehicles to reduce the problems with climate changes. Lately many car manufactures as well as governments in different countries have announced agressive plans to stimulate the market. Powerswap has the potential to contribute to a faster market growth for EVs. A prognosis from IEA says that we will have 40-70 million EVs by 2025. With Powerswap´s swift "refueling" solution, these numbers can be stongly underestimated. Powerswap AB aims for an IPO withing 3-4 years. An alternative exit can be a corporate buy out.
- Powerswap is a small player with considerable intellectual property. However there are no guarantees that a major player with financial muscles will not copy the technology regardless. Our strategy is to establish partnerships with major companies, who will bring strenght to the business.
- There are no guarantees that better technolgies can not be developed.
- If the parametes around the use of hydrogen will improve significantly, the use of batteries can become obsolete. However the parameters around batteries and EVs will likely also improve during the same time.
- The expansion will later require additional funding which not yet is secured.