ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Zooz debuts its ultra-fast power booster for electric vehicles in the US

Startup gears up to roll out flywheel-based system that powers EVs in 15 minutes as the White House eyes establishment of widespread charging infrastructure

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Zooz installs its first US-based fast-charging booster for electric vehicles (EVs) in South Carolina. (Courtesy)
Zooz installs its first US-based fast-charging booster for electric vehicles (EVs) in South Carolina. (Courtesy)

Zooz Power, an Israel-based developer of an ultra-fast power booster for electric vehicles (EVs), announced on Wednesday that it has rolled out its first charging system in the United States.

The startup’s kinetic power booster (KPB), based on patented flywheel technology, converts electrical energy into kinetic energy and is designed for areas where EV infrastructure is still behind or where the electricity grid is not yet sufficiently powerful to give a quick boost.

The boosters, which the company says can fully recharge batteries within 15 minutes, are modular, take up about half a parking space, and can be installed in key areas such as parking lots, airports, and hotels.

By using physics rather than chemistry, the kinetic recharger avoids environmental issues and costs such as massive water use and pollution associated with lithium extraction. Lithium, a mineral, is used for lithium-ion batteries, the most common storage vessel today.

Zooz said that the first US-based fast-charging station for EVs supported by its power booster has been deployed at a gas station and convenience store, operated by a subsidiary of ARKO Corp., in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The site in Rock Hill will be used for demonstrations to showcase its green kinetic power booster in North America, the startup said.

“This is a significant milestone as we accelerate our penetration into the US market,” said Zooz CEO Boaz Weizer. “We recently announced a pilot installation at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and additional pilot projects with the New York Power Authority and a large car rental agency.”

Illustration showing the inside of a Zoozter-100 EV recharging unit. (Zooz Power)

The milestone comes after Zooz signed a five-year distribution agreement in December with Nasdaq-listed Blink Charging, a US operator of EV charging equipment, to help further establish its footprint in the American market. As part of the deal, Blink Charging will serve as Zooz’s distributor for the sale and deployment of its fast EV power system.

Zooz is gearing up to tap into the US market as the Biden administration plans to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country in a bid to address the climate crisis. At the end of September last year, the White House gave approval for all 50 US states to get access to $1.5 billion in federal funding to build the chargers covering 75,000 miles of highway across the country.

The goal to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030 was set to align with expectations that half of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2030 will be electric. As part of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $5 billion in funding will be allocated over the coming five years to support the national network.

As part of its US expansion and to attract more investors, Zooz at the end of July announced plans to list on the Nasdaq exchange through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that valued the firm at $100 million. Upon closure of the transaction, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2023, Zooz will be publicly listed to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol ZOOZ.

Zooz, which is also traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said that the agreed-upon $100 million transaction value of the firm includes $60 million at the closing of the merger and up to $40 million of additional contingent consideration via the issuance of shares.

In January, the Lod-based startup installed its first power booster unit for EVs in Israel at a Dor Alon gas station located at a shopping center on Route 4 near the northern coastal town of Zichron Yaacov. The deployment of the system was launched in cooperation with Afcon Electric Transportation and with support of the Energy Ministry and the Israel Innovation Authority.

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