Elecar is developing the next generation of electric car chargers.
Elecar's core competitive advantage will be through solving critical design problems associated with an outdoor high-voltage internet-connected urban infrastructural device that undergoes a lot of human interaction and weathering. The public charging device will have an easy no-touch payment system and an intuitive and safe cord- management system. The cord will be housed internally securing it from theft or misuse. Competing chargers have the cord dangling on the outside wrapped around a peg, which will eventually damage the plug if the cord is not routinely wrapped up correctly. This also exposes the cord to theft as the valuable copper-loaded cord can be easily cut off at night in a public location. The Elecar cord management system employs a flat ribbon-like cord which is reeled up internally after each charge. A driver can simply wave his RFID tagged elecard to access the charger. LEDs light up as the customer is authenticated and the plug pops out ready to charge the vehicle. The customer can check charge level and stop or start charging through his smartphone or online and can be sent a text message when charging is complete. The vendor is reimbursed for the electricity and Elecar collects connection fees. The cord management system, payment system, and industrial design will be protected through individual and overall design patents.
Elecar's website will allow anyone to sign up and get an RFID tagged elecard giving them access an extensive network of EV chargers around the country. Customers can choose to pay per charge or pay a monthly subscription for unlimited public charging. EV drivers who drive up without an account will be able to pay for one-time charging through SMS. They will promptly be forwarded to the Elecar website to sign up for card- access and subscription plans.
Cost & Manufacturing
Elecar chargers will also compete fiercely on price, utilizing low-cost contract manufacturing in China. The device will not have a color touchscreen, which both increases the interaction time with the charger when you are on the go and adds significantly to the per-unit costs. Elecar will leverage the use of mobile phone screens and the web for management of charging and payments. Most of the world computers and electronic devices are manufactured in China where the greatest electromechanical manufacturing expertise and economies of scale have been achieved. We are currently considering 3 contract manufacturers (CM) in Shenzhen and Shanghai. The Bill of Materials (BOM) for the public charger projects a per-unit cost of $610 compared to the competition, whose chargers are on sale for $2500 to $5800 since they manufacture in the US. Commercial units will be produced in China and shipped directly to Elecar's warehouse location in Philadelphia. Bulk orders will be shipped directly from the warehouse to commercial customers.