California Energy Commission Awards KIGT $1.9M Supported by Uber

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Nov 3, 2022


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KIGT, an Electric Vehicle-charging startup based out of Ontario, California, powers vehicles through smart EV charging stations. The startup will have an EV charging microgrid for reservations for ridesharing drivers. California Energy Commission and Uber are backing this project (the latter providing public support to KIGT).

The project will expand the publicly available charging supply in the region and support EV drivers on the Uber platform, and other shared EV applications, including EV carshare programs and other mobility platforms.

Ashwin Dias, Uber’s Director of Vehicle Operations, welcomed the move saying:

“Access to charging is the number 2 pain point for drivers when it comes to making the switch to electric. Adding new charging supply around airports and event hubs, where they will be best utilized, helps address that barrier and get us closer to a zero-emission mobility future.”

Ashwin Dias

Soon the rideshare drivers will have access to maps showing a KIGT eCharger on their Uber-supported driver app.

“Enabling rideshare drivers to reserve charging at their own pace to take a break or have a snack with a cup of coffee in a safe and reliable comforting setting like a café, church, or convention center is transformative to the future of EV Charging.”

Paul Francis | CEO, KIGT

KIGT manufactures electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and operating software. The company received $1.9M from the California Energy Commission, backed by Uber. KIGT will make EV Chargers available for reservation to support new EV Rideshare Drivers.

Key Takeaways:

  • The KIGT EV charging does not produce emissions
  • All owners of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) can use KIGT e-Chargers. 

KIGT Expanded EV Charging in the Inland Empire

KIGT started one of California’s first smart EV charging grid management projects.

In 2018, KIGT partnered with the Center for Environmental Research & Technology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) (CE-CERT).

KIGT and CE-CERT planned to work together on Microgrid and electric vehicle (EV) charging projects all over California for the next 18 months.

The CE-CERT site in the City of Riverside will have intelligent Level 2 (220 Volts) MINI e-Chargers installed from the private funding of KIGT. The deal decided to make the e-Chargers available to staff, students, and the general public.

Driver-centric Charging Model to Speed up TNC EV Adoption

KIGT signed a new project called “Driver-centric Charging Model to Accelerate TNC EV Adoption and Support Disadvantaged Communities.” As a result, the Ontario International Airport (ONT) will now have ride-hailing, taxi, and car-sharing services installing EV chargers. Anyone can locate these chargers within one mile of the airport. 

KIGT’s Approach to Charging: Supporting Uber EV Drivers.

In the City of Ontario, KIGT will create an “eStation Cafe” for EV Charging. The project will include more than 100 Level 2+ (19kW, 80amp) Smart EV Chargers and 10 DC Fast Chargers alongside a 1.84 MW microgrid. 

Drivers can find them at the retrofitted restaurant near San Bernardino County’s Ontario International Airport. 

It will support Uber EV drivers when they’re free, EV car-share programs, and other mobility gig economy platforms.

According to Under’s “Road to Zero Emissions” webpage, by 2040, the ride-hailing app aims to be a zero-emission platform. Through Uber’s Green Future program, hundreds of thousands of drivers may switch to electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of 2025. 

Uber providing public support to KIGT’s EV charging microgrids is based on KIGT’s relevance to the sustainable mobility market. As a result, GHG emissions and some criterion air pollutants will also decrease. 

KIGT e-Chargers

Startempire Wire also reported about e-Chargers in 2021. 

KIGT e-Chargers are for all Electric Vehicle (EV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) drivers. If used in relevant and appropriate time slots, using KIGT charging equipment can cut the cost of gasoline. 

Of course, it would only sometimes be possible to charge the vehicle at the most appropriate timings; but it can decrease the costs.

Read Here: KIGT: Smart EV Charging Stations.

Why Should Drivers Switch to EV charging? 

Uber and Lyft drivers can save thousands of dollars by switching to electric vehicles. 

After expenses, a TNC driver makes less than $10 per hour. A full-time driver who travels 125 miles daily may save more than $3,300 a year by converting to an EV.

KIGT Providing More Facilities to Uber EV Drivers

You can find a KIGT charger for the next ten years at Hollywood United Methodist Church (HUMC)

The Hollywood Bowl signed a deal with HUMC to provide extra parking for attendees of events throughout the music season. Uber EV drivers can reserve a charger on the day of an event at the Hollywood Bowl.

“Enabling rideshare drivers to reserve charging at their own pace to take a break or wait for another trip in a safe and reliable comforting setting like a café, church, or convention center is transformative to the future of EV Charging.” Says CEO Paul Francis.

Despite the availability of other outstanding facilities, a KIGT eCharger will now be available on the Uber driver app’s compatible maps in the upcoming months.

Listen to Satrtempire Wire’s Founder’s podcast with Paul Francis, founder of KIGT. 

Wrap Up!

KIGT manufactures electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). The California Energy Commission gave it $1.9M as the startup also obtained public support from Uber to bring its EV charging microgrids to rideshare drivers. 

EV Chargers will be available at KIGT, and drivers can reserve them. Ride-hailing, taxi, and car-sharing services will also be available at the Ontario International Airport.


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