By Bill Moore
Lilypad EV founder Larry Kinder saw the handwriting on the wall: electric cars are the future, so he decided to make it possible for drivers to plug-in when and where needed.
The story goes like this: the people who made money during the California gold rush of the 19th century were the folks who sold miners their shovels... or in Levi Strauss' case, their blue jeans.
The same may someday be said for the folks who provided electric car owners with someplace to charge: at work or while they shop. At least that's the rationale for a company based in Kansas City. Founded in 2009, they help individuals, companies, and communities design and implement their electric car charging infrastructure plans. Projects have ranged for a single charger or EVSE -- electric vehicle service equipment -- station to a thousand unit system. To date, according to founder Larry Kinder, they've installed chargers in 20 states.
Kinder bought his first EV -- a converted model -- in 2006 and loved the experience. By 2009, he saw carmakers were getting serious about rolling out production electric cars -- the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Toyota RAV4 EV (generation 2) and the BMW i3, all were in development. -- as well as firms building commercial chargers (Chargepoint, Blink, Aerovironment, Clipper Creek, Siemens, GE). Of course, someone was going to have to install them and maintain them, and therein lay a business opportunity; and Lilypad EV was born.
Given all the competing charge station vendors, Kinder says he opted to go with Chargepoint because he felt they best understood the overall market and where it was headed, especially in terms of the firm's ability to monitor the activity levels on, as well as control access to, its public chargers. Ninety percent of the systems Lilypad EV installs are Chargepoint units.
In this 30-minute interview with EV World's Bill Moore, Kinder shares his insights into who is installing public chargers and why, as well as what businesses and communities need to consider when planning to put in stations for their citizens, employees and/or customers.
Also see EV World's interview with Ohio State's Dr. Ramteen Sioshansi on his teams research on public charging infrastructure deployment.
You can listen using the embedded MP3 player or you may download the audio file to your computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.
There is an audio interview on this site as well. I was unable to post it on here because I don't know how to do that - haha