This week, the company announced a new “Save The Planet” feature. Using real-time grid emissions data, Optiwatt allows drivers to automatically sync their electric vehicle charging with times when renewables such as solar and wind energy are peaking, and avoid times when dirtier fuels are active.
This new feature was made possible through a partnership with WattTime, an environmental non-profit. Once a user signs up for Optiwatt, WattTime data is used to identify the exact sources being used to generate electricity and their corresponding carbon emissions – as often as every five minutes throughout the day. Optiwatt then uses a real-time scheduling algorithm to charge vehicles during the cleanest energy periods.
“We want to give our users the ability to customize and combine their preferences, whether that is saving money or reducing emissions or both.” says Casey Donahue, the CEO of Optiwatt. “With this new feature, we can significantly reduce the emissions required to power EVs.”
According to Optiwatt’s data, every 85 drivers in California that sign up for “Save The Planet” remove the equivalent of one gas-powered vehicle from the road and reduces overall emissions by up to 12.3%.
One of the challenges in optimizing charging for emissions is that rates are constantly changing, sometimes as frequently as every five minutes. Optiwatt’s “Save the Planet” allows EVs to shift charging seamlessly and automatically in sync with the cleanliness of the grid. And, with the large shift to work-from-home during the pandemic, EV drivers are spending more time charging in their garage, and thus are able to take full advantage of these cleaner charging windows.
Optiwatt just closed a $4.3M Seed round from Active Impact Investments, GV, Urban Innovation Fund and Thin Line Capital in order to accelerate the adoption of greener EV technology. “Optiwatt addresses some of the most pressing challenges that come with rapid electrification without any sacrifice for the end-user. With rising energy costs and increasing power disturbances, the cost of not understanding real time energy data has never been higher. Optiwatt’s ‘set it and forget it’ platform automates climate-friendly energy matching through a free solution that saves customers money,” said Mike Winterfield, Founder & Managing Partner at Active Impact Investments who led the financing round.
The Optiwatt team is expanding beyond vehicles. Their ultimate goal is to help users optimize all their home energy needs – including their EV, smart thermostat, solar generators, and storage units. Optiwatt currently supports 16 EV brands and will be rolling out support for smart thermostats later this year.
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