Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Batteries

SparkCharge’s Currently Enables Affordable Mobile Fast Charging For The Masses

SparkCharge is disrupting the EV fast charging space with its new Roadie v3 and Roadie v3 Hybrid solutions but those solutions get even more exciting when you put them on four wheels. Currently does just that, by functionally installing a Roadie v3 into the back of a van that can bring a charge to EV drivers right where and when they need it.

Image courtesy: SparkCharge

Disclaimer: SparkCharge paid for travel and accommodations for the author to attend this event.

Currently Mobile EV Charging

That sounds pretty great by itself, with the cost of the service being the obvious concern. SparkCharge leverages the strengths of batteries to time shift the cost of charging by pulling in power to the packs when grid power is cheap which enables them to send it back out to EV drivers when and where they need it at an affordable price. The difference in the cost to charge the batteries with off-peak power and the price paid by EV drivers to charge with Currently provides a profit margin for SparkCharge and the opportunity to keep the cost down for drivers.  SparkCharge invited CleanTechnica to come out to SparkDay 2022 to learn more about the company, the Currently solution, and to roll out a few upgrades that promise to transform Currently into the mobile charging solution of your dreams.

Fleets of Currently vans are tasked with supporting specific geographic areas from which users can request a charge using the Currently mobile app. A charge can be scheduled up to 6 weeks in advance or requested on demand, depending on the need. There’s even a roadside assistance option to “jumpstart” a fully drained electric vehicle, though this service isn’t offered on the freeway yet. Currently is already live in a few dozen cities across the country and is launching in San Diego, Sacramento, and Boston in the coming weeks.

Screenshot credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

On the pricing side of the equation, the foundation of Currently is a subscription service. Users sign up to pay a flat fee that renews automatically every 30 days. Each tier is geared towards a different type of user based on the frequency of the usage and comes with a corresponding tier of kilowatt-hour pricing. Drivers planning to use the service for charging multiple times per week as their primary mode of transit will likely subscribe to a higher tier, translating to a lower kilowatt-hour cost for charging.

Screenshot credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

On the other hand, folks who want to use the service infrequently to top up can pay a lower monthly fee with higher kilowatt-hour pricing when it’s time to charge. At present, Currently can deliver up to 100 miles of range per charging session and will top vehicles off up to an 80% state of charge. This insures the fastest charging speed possible and reasonable pricing for customers. Pricing is likely to vary by market, but the published rates of $0.51 to $0.69 are already competitive with Tesla’s Supercharging rates in many areas.

At SparkDay 2022, SparkCharge introduced two new services for Currently that further increase its utility: Concierge and Connect. When rolled out later this year, these two services will make mobile charging even easier and less effort for drivers.

Currently Connect

To deliver a charge to your vehicle with minimal disturbance, the ability to open the charging port and even see the state of charge in real time is key. Currently Connect is the service at SparkCharge that will make this possible. As the name implies, it connects directly to your vehicle, letting Currently technicians open up the charging port remotely without you having to trigger it on your phone or come out to unlock the vehicle.

Image courtesy: SparkCharge

This intuitively makes sense, though the logistics of getting access to a vehicle through software over the internet, while ensuring peace of mind for drivers is a sizable challenge challenge. Each manufacturer has their own programming interface and requires different levels and types of access from drivers. It’s a headache just thinking about it, but SparkCharge’s team of coders is up for the challenge. Currently Connect is slated to go live later this year and enables all sorts of cool new functionality.

Currently Concierge

Currently concierge is like an automated charging service where when your vehicle reaches a certain state of charge it will automatically trigger currently to come out and charge your vehicle. For example, if the state of charge threshold is set to 30% and your vehicle drops below that on the way to work, Currently would automatically schedule a charging session. It learns your behavior and routines over time to determine if the location where you’re parked (work, coffee shop, etc)n is somewhere you typically stay for a period of time or not. For example, if you typically go to work from 8:00 to noon Monday through Friday, Currently would have confidence that your vehicle would be at work for a reasonable duration, would schedule a charging session, and come out to your vehicle to start the charge.

Image courtesy: SparkCharge

It will be interesting to see this solution in action when it goes live later this year because it sounds like magic. The concept is brilliant and if executed well, it would deliver something akin to the perfect EV charging experience. In other words, I don’t have to think about it, request it, or even pay attention to it. Currently just takes care of keeping my vehicle charged and I’m none the wiser. Aces.

Overall

Currently is rapidly evolving into a mature, robust mobile EV charging solution that offers real value to EV drivers without home chargers. The new features being added only served to further improve the value proposition.

The real challenge with Currently is scale. Deploying the service in a new city requires a fleet of vehicles, drivers, and charging depots where they can top up the in-van battery overnight in order to provide a meaningfully responsive and affordable service for drivers. I have been driving EVs for years and it’s easy to imagine a ton of base use cases for the software along with a handful of edge cases where the service could come in especially useful.

Taking a trip down into the city and don’t want to have to think about finding a charger? Schedule a Currently charging session to have them come charge your vehicle while you’re eating dinner or watching a show. Driving out to visit the in-laws where there’s no fast charging service? Rather than getting stuck at their house for an overnight charge from a wall outlet, Currently has you covered with a mobile fast charging session to get you back on the road. Living an apartment in the city? Currently can come charge your car every Tuesday and Thursday while you’re at work. And you’re good to go.

SparkCharge has been on an absolute tear developing new hardware and software solutions to meet a growing range of needs for EV drivers. These solutions fill the gaps and enable new use cases for the technologies that truly level the playing field for EVs relative to their combustion vehicle counterparts for an ever increasing range of drivers.

The future is electric. The future is now.

 
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

In 2021, President Biden announced that he wants to replace all federal government vehicles with “clean electric vehicles.” It’s a big challenge, and that’s...

Batteries

SparkCharge invited CleanTechnica to come out to SparkDay 2022 last week where four new products were introduced to the public. SparkCharge made a name...

Clean Transport

Update: Nuvve Holding Corp. is a global energy infrastructure management company headquartered in San Diego, CA which partnered directly with San Diego Gas and...

Clean Transport

In the future, the charging stations will find you!

Copyright © 2022 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.