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Battery Swap Kiosk for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

SomEV has developed a smart Battery Swap Kiosk for a variety of electric micro-mobility applications to provide a wait-less charging network

Photo of Natasha George
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Shared electric micro-mobility application such as eBikes and eScooters have become increasingly popular but they have limited range, can't carry more than one passenger, and don't have the necessary infrastructure in place to encourage mass adoption. Cars have been entrenched in America's economic development, and people rely on them everyday. The transportation sector accounts for 29% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the US, and we have to encourage mass EV adoption, however, unless charging an EV becomes as easy as filling an internal combustion engine vehicle, EV adoption will likely not grow as fast as we need it to. Currently, charging infrastructure is not reliable and therefore not dependable and SomEV is here to solve that problem. 


Our solution is a Battery Swap Kiosk for electric micro-mobility (eBikes, eScooters, eMopeds, and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV)). For this challenge, we would like to focus on NEV's to specifically address the Challenge #1: Increase Reliable Access. Our solution would be to provide a shared fleet of NEV's, fitted with swappable batteries along with (2) kiosks with (30) lockers inside of it to support the network. This way, users can book a short trip in a small electric car which can fit up to (4) passengers. If they are running low on charge during their trip, they simply head to a kiosk and swap out their drained battery packs for fully charged ones. Each battery pack weighs roughly 10-lbs and the swap system is as easy as pumping gas. However, if there are concerns over the end user swapping batteries, SomEV will maintain the system and run the swaps ourselves to support the pilot. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Individuals that need to make short trips or run errands around town that require a bit more space than an e-bike or scooter.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Our battery swap kiosk is based on a piece of equipment the Reece has designed, built, and refined dozens of times over the years for battery testing. The battery health and safety monitoring as well as the control parameters during charging have been painstakingly fine-tuned over years through empirical, trial-and-error testing.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Natasha George (CEO): Prior to SomEV, Natasha was Lead Battery Engineer at an MIT battery start-up where she spent the last 8 years testing various energy storage chemistries. Reece Daniel (CTO): Reece is a former US Marine Corps helicopter mechanic and an industry-renowned expert on battery testing. He has spent the last 12 years as a hands-on research engineer in some of the most innovative labs in industry & academia. The co-founders bring 18+ years of experience in battery research.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

$45K will go toward building and installing the (2) battery swap kiosks $40.5K will cover the cost of (10) NEVs and the necessary batteries to support them $14.5K will cover the personnel, travel, and support costs for the duration of the pilot.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would first work with Challenge personnel to find an appropriate area to launch our pilot NEV fleet. We would then solicit volunteers in that area, getting at least (20) people to sign up. Once we have our first volunteers, we would coordinate an area to temporarily locate our (2) kiosks that makes sense relative to our users regular corridors of travel. We would then install and commission the kiosks at their locations. Shortly after the kiosk installation, we would deliver the NEV fleet and provide our members with their FOBs to access the NEV-share and kiosks. After a quick onboarding/training, we would release the members to fully use the NEV-fleet. We would contact our members periodically throughout the pilot for feedback.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Since we're such a new company, success for us would be simply proving our commercial battery-swap kiosk technology outside of the lab. The remainder of the ways we'd gauge our success would be drawn from the feedback we receive during our member check-ins. A successful pilot would be one in which the majority of participants A) found the NEV-share to be overall helpful, B) would be willing to pay a price that is sustainable for our company, and C) could see themselves replacing their ICE vehicle with an NEV-share option.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Yes. We would be charging a monthly membership fee after the pilot that will allow us to sustain operations of the kiosks and NEV fleet that were part of the initial program. Also, our pilot kiosks will be mounted on trailers, so we will have the option to move them if we find that there are better locations. We are also actively fundraising and will be in a position to support an expanded program with more kiosks and a greater variety of EVs once this pilot period ends.

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Photo of Natasha George
Team

Elizabeth Durden Wow! Thank you SO much for the support and feedback.

I'll absolutely get in touch with Indygo and see if we can work together. I really appreciate your help and support!

Photo of Elizabeth Durden
Team

My pleasure! Natasha,

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