A decade ago, decarbonizing the transportation sector was a daunting task, but the landscape has drastically changed, and today the electric vehicle (EV) era has officially arrived. Estimates suggest that over 25% of all cars on the road will be EVs by 2030, and auto manufacturers have committed $200B in investments towards transitioning their new fleets to be at least 50% electric over the next eight years. The rise in EV production is driven both by booming consumer demand in recent years and policy and regulation at the federal and state level. The Inflation Reduction Act (”IRA“) is monumental legislation that provides increased and lasting incentives for consumers across income levels to choose EVs over fuel combustion vehicles. It also increases incentives for automakers to produce more EVs and further invest in their deep supply chains. We also see states like California passing regulation mandating that all new car sales must be fully electric by 2035. While the new opportunity for automakers is exciting, they are increasingly mindful of ensuring their consumers have the best possible experience. One pain point unique to EVs for consumers is their well-documented “range anxiety” and worry about when to optimally charge their EVs.
With the accelerating transition to EVs also comes a critical problem for utilities: how to manage the power grid to support the increased load demand from charging EVs. To address this challenge, utilities will need to make significant upgrades in grid infrastructure and invest in software solutions to complement their capital expenditures.
WeaveGrid directly solves the problems facing utilities, automakers, and consumers with the rise in EVs. Their product connects EVs to the grid in an autonomous way, leveraging the best rates for charging while mitigating overload risks to the grid. From the utilities’ perspective, WeaveGrid enables them to understand how EVs are operating on the grid (when they are charging, when they are in motion, etc.), manage the load so that EVs do not overwhelm electricity capacity, and dictate when cars should be charging, all while ensuring that the car owners are meeting their own charge requirements to operate their vehicles. Optimizing the grid also has a significant impact on how clean the energy sources to the grid are and allows utilities to minimize the need to turn on peaker plants, which emit disproportionately high levels of pollutants and are also the most expensive sources of energy. For resource-constrained utilities, WeaveGrid provides measurable ROI, significantly reducing the costs of managing EVs on the grid by 70% annually.
For automakers who have committed billions in capital to electrifying their vehicle offerings, WeaveGrid helps ensure the electric grid can serve the millions of new EV drivers entering the scene. Automakers are taking a hands-on approach to helping first-time EV drivers understand the charging experience. By improving the driver experience around home charging and building WeaveGrid into their increasingly sophisticated tech stacks, automakers are also delivering ROI in software-defined vehicles as part of their ambitions to diversify revenues into software and services.
For consumers, WeaveGrid provides a seamless experience for EV owners to charge their vehicles in the most optimal way, regardless of where they are. With 80% of charging happening at home, WeaveGrid’s solution provides utility cost transparency and savings recommendations to help consumers validate the switch to electric. The WeaveGrid solution is cost-effective and reduces range anxiety for drivers. WeaveGrid’s platform is also incredibly easy for consumers to use; the platform prompts the owner to set their personal charging requirements and goals, and then enables WeaveGrid to manage the right time to charge at the lowest possible prices. This seamless integration between the vehicle and the grid signifies a first-of-its-kind relationship between the EV owner, their vehicle, and the grid.
Why we’re backing WeaveGrid
WeaveGrid is the first investment that the Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund has led, owing to our strong conviction that WeaveGrid is a category-leading company building the future of climate technology. In the time that we spent getting to know the market, the business, and the team, we reinforced our thesis that WeaveGrid is uniquely positioned to execute on sectoral tailwinds to capture a very large market opportunity and meaningfully decarbonize the transportation and energy sectors.
Co-Founders Apoorv Bhargava (CEO) and John Taggart (CTO) both bring highly relevant experience to a business that operates at the intersection of utilities and automakers. Apoorv has spent his entire career working in the energy sector, deploying utility grid management programs at both NRG and Opower. John brings deep technical auto experience and is a leading expert in EVs and their impact on the grid from his time working in Tesla’s Office of the CTO and on the Special Projects team at Nissan leading product innovation. Together, they have the combined skill set to build a sophisticated technology stack that sits at the intersection of two rapidly transforming industries.
And the proof points are compelling: WeaveGrid operates in thirteen states and serves leading U.S. utilities, including Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Exelon Utilities, and Xcel Energy. WeaveGrid’s PG&E launch is especially significant; among all US utilities, PG&E hosts the most EVs on its grid, with one in six EVs in the U.S. registered in their service area. WeaveGrid has also partnered with many of the key automakers. As WeaveGrid’s utility and auto network continue to grow, more and more U.S. customers will have access to their product to optimize charging.
As automakers accelerate EV production, and as grid management continues to be a critical pain point for utilities, both industries need agile solutions to help mitigate costs and enable the shift to electrification. WeaveGrid is at an exciting moment to be the leading software company enabling this transition.
With almost 25% of all GHG emissions in the U.S. coming from transportation, shifting to electric vehicles is imperative to meeting our country’s goal of reducing overall emissions by 50% by 2030. We see WeaveGrid as a critical piece of this puzzle with its innovative software solution for both utilities and automakers.
Please join us in welcoming WeaveGrid to Salesforce Ventures!