Expanding the electric vehicle charging network in the United States is a massive undertaking that will take many years and billions of dollars to complete. Still, it’s something the federal government has made a high priority.
In September, the government approved the first $900 million in U.S. funding to build EV charging stations in 35 states as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed last year. That bill includes nearly $5 billion in funding over five years to build thousands of EV charging stations.
The private sector will play an essential role in speeding the deployment of all that EV infrastructure, and one of the key players is TeraWatt Infrastructure. This San Francisco startup provides reservable charging space and power for electric vehicle fleets.
Despite being founded only four years ago, TeraWatt has already raised more than $1 billion from investors to expand its network of charging centers. In a Sept. 13 press release, the company said the investments have come from funds managed by Vision Ridge Partners and existing investors Keyframe Capital and Cyrus Capital.
TeraWatt will use the money to accelerate its next phase of development and expansion, focusing on building out its charging center portfolio and hiring new talent.
“Fleets are electrifying faster than ever, and we have been hard at work planning, building charging centers, and scaling up to make this transition easier,” TeraWatt Co-Founder and CEO Neha Palmer said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to build on our market position, leveraging their collective investment to move even faster in providing solutions for the rapidly growing category of EV charging.”
TeraWatt was founded in 2018 with funding from Keyframe and Cyrus. The company’s aim is to accelerate the decarbonization of transportation. Its strategy is to acquire properties in locations relevant to fleets and develop energy and charging infrastructure.
“If you think about what it takes to build a large-scale, high-power EV charging center, it’s in the tens of millions of dollars,” Palmer, the former head of Google’s energy strategy, told Canary Media in an interview.
Considering thousands of EV charging stations are needed across the country, many billions of dollars of investment will be required to fulfill TeraWatt’s “mission to build the backbone of electric transport in the U.S.,” Palmer said.
TeraWatt works with fleets across light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles. It handles a wide array of tasks for corporate clients, from buying and developing sites to installing and maintaining charging equipment and electrical infrastructure.
As of mid-September, the only corporate customer TeraWatt had announced publicly was Kaptyn, a Las Vegas–based EV ride-share startup. Kaptyn signed a deal to use Terawatt as its exclusive charging development provider for operations in Nevada, California, and Florida.
TeraWatt is among several companies that have raised large sums of cash to build out the nation’s EV charging network. The list includes publicly traded EV charging network operators such as ChargePoint, EVgo, and Volta Charging.
Other financial commitments have also come from major automakers such as General Motors, which has invested about $750 million; Daimler Truck North America, which has committed $650 million in a joint venture; and Volkswagen, which has invested about $2 billion in the Electrify America charging network as part of its diesel emissions settlement with federal regulators.