Emily Bernstein & Veronica Fresneau

How our startups are driving the shift towards electric mobility on a global scale

In the last quarter of 2020, we launched our 20M+ Energy venture capital fund, backed by institutional investors, European family offices, informal investors and the government. We recently made our first nine investments from Rockstart Energy. These nine startups represent six segments in the energy industry, from smart grid technology to carbon reduction, as well as five different countries.

In addition to these startups, Rockstart portfolio companies Dexter Energy and Sympower also raised noteworthy rounds. Earlier this March, Dexter Energy raised a €2m Series A round. Shortly thereafter, Sympower raised a €5.2m Series B round. Taken together, these investments underscore the ever growing need for renewable energy solutions, which is one of the leading sectors for investors in Europe.

Three of the nine energy startups we invested in are working in electric mobility, which comes as no surprise considering the urgent need for reduction in CO2 emissions. The shift towards electric mobility is well underway in Europe, where many governments have rolled out incentives such as new purchase subsidies and tax breaks in order to encourage green mobility. Thankfully, such incentives have led to continued consumer demand, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to consumer demand for sustainable mobility, another unexpected yet positive outcome of the Covid pandemic was reduced local pollution and CO2 emissions worldwide. Among the countries that have benefited from this is India. Delhi, for example, which frequently records high levels of particulate pollution and average PM 2.5 level approximately 70 times greater than the World Health Organization’s safe limits, enjoyed clearer skies and clean air in early April 2020, when most vehicles were taken off the road due to a Covid-lockdown.

eDRV, one of our energy startups, is among the innovators working to pave the way for electric mobility in India through charging infrastructure solutions. eDRV has received funding from the highly competitive green recovery program by the UK Government. Under the UK PACT Green Recovery Challenge Fund project, eDRV will lead a consortium of organizations towards two objectives. First, to provide a way to manage the electricity demand from EV charging using a suitable and scalable protocol for India. And second, to ensure that utilities and policymakers widely understand the economic benefits of EV charging.

For this project, eDRV’s partners include the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), South Asia’s leading think tank, and BSES Yamuna (BYPL), a distribution utility serving 1.7 million residents in Delhi. Together, the partners will build a utility-led intelligent electric vehicle charging pilot for India’s capital.

eDRV solutions include SaaS that makes it easy to operate charging networks and cater to electric vehicle drivers. eDRV offers customer-centric features such as zero-touch, app-less charging, and API-first solutions built for integrations with building and energy management systems.

“For eDRV, this funding gives us an opportunity to develop new technology to solve real-world challenges brought about by the transition towards electric vehicles in India. We will learn from the practical experience of a major utility partner at the forefront of rolling out EV charging infrastructure. By also working with South Asia’s leading think tank CEEW on research on the economic impacts of smart EV charging, we will also get to support the development of policies that can help accelerate India’s shift towards electric vehicles.” -Bhaskar Deol, CEO and Co-founder, eDRV

Congratulations to the eDRV team for securing the funding for this impressive project! It is always uplifting to see that the visionary innovators we invest in are shaping our way to a more regenerative and sustainable future. If you would like to meet our energy startups but also investors, mentors, corporate partners and other energy enthusiasts, don’t miss the opportunity to join us for the Rockstart Energy Demo Day on April 21st. You can register here.

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