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Exclusive Interview With the CEO of Solar EV Charging Company Beam Global
We sat down with Beam Global CEO Desmond Wheatley about the trials and tribulations surrounding one of the most innovative EV charging infrastructures currently on the market. Here’s what you need to know about solar EV charging.

Exclusive Interview With the CEO of Solar EV Charging Company Beam Global

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If you’ve never heard of Beam Global, previously known as Envision Solar, it's probably because you don’t own an EV. Just to bring you up to speed, the company manufactures and deploys fully contained solar powered EV charging units that can be easy to deploy anywhere and can get up and running in less than five minutes. To find out a bit more about the company and its products, click here.

Our interview with the CEO of Beam Global, Desmond Wheatley, revolved around some of the hardships encountered in developing and deploying such tech, as well as the benefits and drawbacks that current technological advances allow for.

autoevolution: What would be the three biggest challenges you’ve faced in implementing the EV ARC and Solar Tree?

Desmond Wheatley
: Starting with the non-technical, the biggest challenge has been, in the early days, simply a lack of knowledge or lack of understanding on the part of the consumer of the product. But we’re overcoming that now by having big and well-known customers like the city of New York, Google, and the state of California, and others.

From a technological point of view, I would say battery technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, and batteries have become more energy-dense, more reliable, and less expensive, and so this allows you to store the energy you generate so that you can charge vehicles during nighttime or when it’s cloudy.

And finally, on technology, thermal management. Batteries are a bit like Goldie Locks, not too cold, not too hot, it’s got to be just right for them. And so, to maintain batteries at the right temperature, when you’re deployed across the country as we are, the same product has to work equally well in a diverse number of settings. We used inventiveness and technology to overcome this issue.

Next up, we decided to target a specific product that Beam Global is currently supplying, the EV ARC. This is the same EV ARC system that has recently been deployed Throughout numerous cities in California for free use.

ae:
We see on the Beam Global website that the EV ARC only changes to 245 e-miles in a day. What does that mean for me if I own two EVs?

DW
: That’s a great question and one that we often get asked. We’re really interested in consumer behavior, and so we ask ourselves what consumers do, and therefore, what do they need. The U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that the average U.S. sedan drives 30.4 miles per day. Further, they tell us that 8 out of 10 commuters require less than 24 miles for their roundtrip commute. This means you can potentially charge up to ten vehicles with one EV ARC.

ae: What can you tell us about the challenge against the oil industry?

DW
: The great thing with the oil majors is that it’s sort of a David and Goliath thing going on here. You know, they’re still supreme, let’s not deny it. Electric vehicles are still in very low single digit percentages of penetration in the market, and the really big guys are looking at that and saying, is there a real threat here?

I’m going to say that they’re missing the point because consumers have a tendency to drive explosive growth into something once they get a hold of it. It’s what happened with the iPhone.



ae:
How is Beam Global handling the loss of energy that occurs during conversions to either AC or DC current?

DW: It’s a matter of great frustration for us, but there are a couple of things that you can do. First of all, you do not skimp out on the components that you integrate into your product. We use the best of the best components we manufacture ourselves or buy, but even then, there are still losses.

As you know, we live in an AC world, and the EV chargers we enable are all AC current users. And so we have this ridiculous scenario where we are converting sunlight into DC electricity, storing it as DC electricity, then inverting it into AC electricity so that we can put it into a charger which puts it into a vehicle which then coverts it back into DC electricity. And all of that is very wasteful. The good news is that we and others are working on DC-to-DC technology.Conclusions
Desmond Wheatley's words about the future of EV charging should give you a pretty good idea of what we’re headed for over the next few years. Tip for investors: check out the growth Beam Global has seen in the past two years for clues.

Another thing I realized after this interview is that every product is meant to fit a certain need, and the daily commuter is the target here. Finally, Beam Global's philosophy that the consumer is key should come as no surprise to anyone in this day and age. It's something you need to remember if you want to get a successful business up and running.



 
 
 
 
 

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