SWTCH Energy Inc. has closed $13 million in new financing to expand its electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions to multi-family buildings across North America, with an emphasis on serving the transition to electrified transportation for market-rate and low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities.
The new capital includes a $10 million Series A round led by the venture capital arm of Aligned Climate Capital and a $3 million credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank. Additional Series A investors include Landmark Management Inc., Elemental Energy, IBI Group, Active Impact Investments and Pacific Reach.
SWTCH provides EV charging and energy management solutions that address the challenges of EV ownership in multi-family buildings of all kinds. SWTCH’s approach to EV charging and energy management lowers the financial and technological barriers to EV ownership by employing cost-effective, software-based energy management solutions to multi-family buildings where electrical infrastructure hardware upgrades can be prohibitively expensive. Additionally, SWTCH’s charging-as-a-service model reduces the financial barriers to providing equitable access to EV charging infrastructure, which eliminates the upfront costs and reduces the operational costs of EV charging management by incorporating clean fuel standard credits, charging infrastructure incentives and ancillary service market participation as part of the core offering.
“SWTCH’s mission is centered on realizing the social, economic, and environmental benefits of widespread EV adoption,” says Carter Li, CEO of SWTCH. “We know that more than 80 percent of EV charging occurs at home and 30 percent of homes in North America are multi-family, so improving access to EV charging infrastructure in multi-family buildings is critical to enabling widespread EV adoption.”
“With over 75 percent of our charging stations currently deployed in multi-family buildings, SWTCH strongly believes in the importance of providing equitable, convenient, and affordable charging access at home, where people need it the most,” adds Li. “This round of new financing will help us accelerate our growth into these locations by expanding our ability to fund more charging-as-a-service projects in low- and moderate-income communities across North America.”
“With rising gas prices, more and more Americans are looking to purchase electric vehicles. But that means we need more charging infrastructure, and we need it where people live,” states Peter Davidson, CEO of Aligned Climate Capital. “We are proud to invest in a company that makes it easier for people to go electric, save money, and be a part of the climate solution.”
“SVB is excited to support SWTCH as they scale EV charger deployments in the critical multi-family building segment,” comments Graeme Millen, managing director at SVB Canada. “Providing creative capital to enable SWTCH’s Charging-as-a-Service model is aligned with our commitment to the Climate Tech and Sustainability sector and helping accelerate the impact of companies and founders developing and scaling game-changing technology.”
SWTCH charging systems are currently installed in 200 multi-family buildings, 50% of which are classified as low-to-moderate income. As a current cohort of the Clean Fight Program, a not-for-profit climate-tech accelerator supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New Energy Nexus, SWTCH is collaborating with other clean building technology providers to decarbonize and electrify the mass of New York’s non-luxury residential and commercial buildings, in order to generate equitable climate impacts while providing health, comfort, and savings benefits to LMI communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
Under the new $2.5 billion Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure established by President Biden’s $7.5 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, at least 50% of this funding will be used for a community grant program where priority is given to projects that expand access to EV charging and alternative fueling infrastructure within LMI communities.
“SWTCH was selected as one of just a handful of cohort companies from a very competitive applicant pool to participate in the Clean Fight program that’s focused on high impact solutions that bring the environmental, economic and health benefits of deep decarbonization to non-luxury buildings,” mentions Thatcher Bell, program director at The Clean Fight. “After less than six months in the program, SWTCH is already working on new installations in LMI communities in NY with two different partners in The Clean Fight, in collaboration with two other participating cohort companies.” By the end of 2022, SWTCH expects to manage 5,000 charging ports in over 900 locations in all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces, of which over 50% will be in low-to-moderate income multi-family buildings.