Jeff Zissulis, CEO
Imagine heading on a long journey or just zipping down to the office and being able to charge your electric vehicle (EV) on the spot, hassle-free. Does it sound like the EV utopia? It sure does!
Given the surge in EV ownership over the past decade, the need for convenient EV charging is a requirement. Consumers will not only expect it, they will demand it! According to recent research published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, EVs will make up most of the new car sales globally by 2040 and account for 33 percent of all the light-duty vehicles. In today’s market, however, there are two major challenges when considering installing an EV station. One is the expense of installation. Even with some government rebate programs, it is still price prohibitive. The second challenge is the recurring fees. Businesses must bear high monthly costs associated with software licensing, cellular connectivity, credit card transaction fees, insurance, operations, and maintenance – even when the spots are empty. Perfectly poised to address these challenges is SKYCHARGER, a leading developer, owner, and operator of public EV charging stations.
The company's mission is to provide retailers, businesses, including multi-unit dwellings, the financial means for making low-cost EV charging accessible at their location. "We handle all our clients’ financial challenges. We provide the capital to fund the installation of the charging stations and deal with all of the incentives and reimbursements, and remove the burden of most, if not all, associated costs," says Jeff Zissulis, CEO of SKYCHARGER.
Capitalize on a New Demographic of EV Drivers
Zissulis explains that although the EV market is still at an early adoption phase, it is poised to reshape industries and communities globally as the world embraces the clean energy revolution. “EVs are becoming more affordable, and their range is consistently on the rise, opening the door to a renewable energy future. SKYCHARGER was founded back in 2013 and in that same year installed its first EV charging stations in Albany, NY. We were founded on the commitment of creating environmentally conscious communities where charging accessibility is not a luxury. As the market showed promise, we demonstrated our commitment and upgraded our stations at those locations in 2019.”
SKYCHARGER helps its customers, which they refer to as host sites, focus on bringing in repeat business to their businesses. They do so by switching the host site’s focus from looking at the charging station as a revenue stream (which often it is not) to an additional valuable business commodity (electricity as a commodity). "We educate businesses on why they should want EV charging stations at their location(s) and help them grow their business by attracting a new demographic of EV drivers to their business," remarks Zissulis. “In fact, we can show them how an EV charging station can reduce their customer acquisition cost and overall cost per customer. If the host site is thinking about a charging station as a revenue stream, we are happy to walk them through that model as well.”
SKYCHARGER is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Skyview Ventures, a venture capital firm established to support innovative companies in renewable energy. Zissulis emphasizes that SKYCHARGER's fundamental business model is different from its competitors as it embraces its parent company’s approach of following the market trends and letting the market dictate the terms, and then providing the necessary solution accordingly. Unlike other players in the market vouching for a one-size-fits-all approach, SKYCHARGER takes the requirements of EV drivers and host sites into account and delivers a solution geared toward their needs. To stay ahead of the market, the company is always looking to leverage the latest technology for the charging equipment. “While our competition is currently installing very basic Level 2 charging stations, we are installing much higher-powered charging stations,” Zissulis stated.
Effectively Catering to the Needs of Both Businesses and Drivers
SKYCHARGER offers an exclusive program—EVent Marketing™—that comes standard with every EV charging station installation. The flexible program allows businesses to decide the parameters, such as day, date, time, and duration, to control the rates on their EV charging station. “Rather than thinking of EV charging as a service that they can provide to EV drivers, we like retailers to think about EV charging as a new approach bring in a new demographic,” comments Zissulis.
SKYCHARGER’s team manages the entire process. Once the location of the charging station is fixed, they ensure that it is a feasible option and then build the design as per clients’ needs. Moreover, the company ensures that the site is left as found. After the systems are commissioned, SKYCHARGER trains the host site on the software, which helps them effectively set promotional rates to encourage the influx of new consumers to their location. The software monitors each station to ensure they are always operational. In addition, SKYCHARGER is available. The EV driver can simply contact SKYCHARGER through an 800 number, or the app and SKYCHARGER will handle any questions that arise. The host site can continue to focus on their business.
For EV drivers, the company offers different ways to use the charging station. "They can either sign up on our app or use it as a guest. With a variety of ways to pay, our goal is to make the overall experience seamless and simple for the driver," says Zissulis. Rather than telling drivers where they need to charge their cars, SKYCHARGER aims to put stations everywhere, learn what people want from them, and then provide what they want at a competitive price.
With customer-centricity at the core, SKYCHARGER quickly modifies its programs as per demands. The company is squarely focused on making the host site happy and meeting their needs so they can openly communicate their requirements. SKYCHARGER has been successfully helping businesses recognize the missed business opportunities due to the unavailability of EV charging stations in their parking lot. Case in point, SKYCHARGER was recently told a story that supports their model. During an afternoon of errands, an EV owner chose to top-off at the low-cost charging station in the host site’s lot. While charging, they decided to browse the host site’s shop and ended up purchasing over $80 of merchandise. This charging station, which was virtually free to the host site, brought in over $80 of revenue. Essentially installing a SKYCHARGER charging station brought a new demographic to their business.
Spearheading the Path toward an All-Electric Future
SKYCHARGER tries to do this with little to no out-of-pocket cost to the customer and follows a two-prong sales approach to excel in the market. Apart from having its internal sales team that generates business traction, SKYCHARGER works with channel partners who also sell and install the charging stations. "Other than signing the agreement with us, the host site doesn't have to do anything. Everything is handled either by us or one of our channel partners, right from the initial design, to governmental paperwork, alongside other documentation requirements," notes Zissulis.
With an unwavering commitment to providing quality services, SKYCHARGER has been garnering huge traction in the market. Steering ahead, the company is expanding into other markets that tie into the EV charging space, including DC-fast charging and fleet electrification. SKYCHARGER plans to provide its services and EV charging solution to businesses that have fleets of vehicles. In addition, the company intends to finance the EVs for them such that they only need to pay for the charging. "Our plan is to own charging stations around the country and we have started from the Northeast. With a goal to provide low-cost EV charging that will drive traffic to businesses, we aim to eventually cover the entire country," concludes Zissulis.