Award Finalist: EP Tender helps Electric Vehicles to extend their range

And here is another one from France. Great things happen over there. EP Tender is here to make Electric Vehicles more convenient. We know the challenge: Long distances are still a problem with our beloved e-cars/bikes/vehicles. Here is where EP Tender comes into the game. Jean-Baptiste Segard, CEO, explicates their solution and how mobility will have its part in the energy transition.

Describe your product and its history! What is your unique value proposition and your business model?

EVs are perfect 98% of the time, but on long distances, which is only 2% of usage, they are quite inconvenient! This problem is compounded by the fact that buyers want versatility and peace of mind, as well as affordable cars! Hence EV sales still represent a trickle despite their huge collective and individual benefits.

Consider smartphones: we use a mobile charger or an add-on battery when traveling, and we don’t carry all year long an expensive, bulky and heavy phone! By renting occasionally a Tender, you can drive 98% full electric, instead of 100% petrol. The marginal cost of long distances is commensurate to the 2% marginal usage, with the freedom to make any trip with your EV, in a convenient and affordable way, with peace of mind!

What is your vision in regards to the future of the energy economy? And how does your product contribute to this future?

Transport is the hardest to migrate to renewables, as fossil fuels are so convenient! It is of course very paradoxical to attach (for now) a combustion engine behind an EV and pretend this is a disruptive enabler for the energiewende! But transition means a continuous process. And the public has to buy-in! The public wants versatile cars and freedom of movement. Cars with a huge battery, and super fast charging are poor in terms of environmental footprint and energy mix.
EP Tender allows EVs with demand-response residential charging, low environmental footprint, and affordable long distance travel. Furthermore the Tenders will themselves transit to H2, battery, and road inductive charging as early as possible.

What are, in your opinion, the key challenges of the energy transition in general, and what are they specifically for your startup?

The energy transition’s success will lie in the public’s support, with sustainable financial efforts, and realistic changes in the citizens behaviour. This is not something which can be declared and imposed without endorsement by the sovereign (the voters!). In the specific case of transports, we must make EVs desirable (this is now becoming the case thanks to Tesla and other precursors like Zoe and Leaf), and competitive with ICE vehicles (Internal Combustion Engine) . This is precisely our purpose: to allow affordable EVs to make convenient long distance trips, and be competitive with other powertrains. This will enable EVs to become mainstream, and no longer a hard fought niche requiring unsustainable subsidies.

Where are you based, and who are the key innovation drivers in the energy ecosystem in your region?

We are based in Poissy, on the western side of Paris. This region is the core of automotive R&D In France, with Renault, PSA, engineering firms and equipment makers. We also have EDF, Engie, Alstom and Total head offices nearby in La Défense business hub. Indeed we chose Poissy for the benefit of this proximity, and our ability to leverage on local expertise. We are also members of the Mov’eo automotive cluster which is based in nearby Normandy. Innovation is at the root of automotive, and we can observe an accelerating and now massive effort towards electric and hybrid vehicles. We are ideally located and positioned to benefit from this trend.

Which results for your startup do you expect from the Tech Festival by DENA in March 2017?

Our targets:

-Dissemination of our vision among EV stakeholders, project and solution for affordable EVs, with on demand omni-hybrid capability, as an enabler for much faster and mass EV adoption 

– Identify leads for building a field test in Germany, in order to experiment and receive user feedback. Such field test would ideally include a fuel cell version of EP Tender, to be developed with relevant industrial players

-Identify potential industrial partners which would contribute to our business model with their business and expertise (rental points, maintenance of the Tender, engineering, manufacturing, distribution), as well as adequate financial leverage to implement our business model

– Establish contact with German officials

SunCulture designs, manufactures, finances and distributes solar-powered irrigation systems and services that make it simpler and cheaper for farmers in Africa to grow high quality fresh fruits and vegetables, making them more successful, and was the first company to commercialize solar-powered drip irrigation in Africa. The company’s AgroSolar Irrigation Kit™ replaces expensive fuel pumps with a more efficient solar powered solution. Additionally, the system replaces traditional, unreliable irrigation techniques, thus saving farmers water, labor and time.

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