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SK Inc. Invests $100 Million in North Carolina-based EV Charging Hardware Developer Atom Power

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【Summary】North Carolina-based Ev charging hardware developer Atom Power announced a $100 million investment from South Korea’s SK Inc. The investment in Atom Power follows SK’s pledge to invest $22 billion across a broad range of technology and clean tech industries in the U.S. Atom Power invented the first commercial solid-state digital circuit breaker, which the company says is the safest and fastest circuit breaker for smart power distribution.

Eric Walz    Aug 18, 2022 12:15 PM PT
SK Inc. Invests $100 Million in North Carolina-based EV Charging Hardware Developer Atom Power
Electric vehicles charging outside of Atom Power's headquarters in Huntersville, North Carolina (Photo: Melissa Key Charlotte Business Journal)

With the recent signing of the Inflation Reduction Act by President Joe Biden which expands electric vehicle tax credits for the purchase of a U.S-built zero emissions vehicle, there is a growing need to rapidly expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the United States to support the adoption of millions of EVs. As a result, investments are being made in companies developing intelligent EV charging infrastructure.

One such company is North Carolina-based Atom Power. The company just announced a $100 million investment from South Korea's SK Inc. and SK Energy. The investment in Atom Power follows SK's pledge to invest $22 billion across a broad range of technology and clean tech industries in the U.S. 

Atom Power is developing reliable and scalable EV charging infrastructure that maximizes energy efficiency. The company invented the first commercial solid-state digital circuit breaker, which the company says is the safest and fastest circuit breaker for smart power distribution.

As EV adoption increases, one of the challenges to overcome is scaling the charging infrastructure to keep up with demand, according to Atom Power. The company directly addresses this challenge with the world's first and only digital power delivery solution for the last mile of charging.

Atom's Power's centralized EV charging panel consolidates solid-state chargers within the unit, which increases reliability and safety. The charging panels are used to manage the energy for groups of individual chargers. The panels also have WiFi, ethernet, and LTE connectivity, which provides more digital control over energy usage. The company's technology transforms grid power delivery from analog to digital.

Atom Power's "PURPL" line of EV chargers are also powered by a centralized energy management system. The setup is ideal for multi-unit buildings in urban areas and for commercial fleets. The dynamic energy management system for the PURPL chargers allows for the charging of dozens to hundreds of vehicles without requiring any utility upgrades.

When vehicles are not plugged in for charging, the high-voltage power feed from the grid is eliminated, which helps to increase safety. Atom Power also offers 24/7 real-time monitoring of customer EV charging networks.

"Our mission is to power a more intelligent electrification of everything. The EV market is massive, rapidly growing, and desperate for a new way to scale, drive revenue and accelerate adoption," said Ryan Kennedy, CEO of Atom Power. "Our technology is the perfect solution for this perfect storm. SK's backing provides the capital and strategic alignment to support us in driving the new standard for digital power delivery across every industry."

SK said Atom Power's core technology was "the primary driver" behind its $100 million investment. As part of the investment, SK acquired an additional $50M stake in Atom Power from previous investors, doubling down on its commitment to become the company's biggest outside stakeholder and an active player in its long-term growth.

"We believe that with SK Energy's accumulated know-hows as the Korean petroleum market leader and Atom Power's technological competitiveness, both companies will be able to seek mutual growth: for Atom Power, to expand its business beyond the US Market and for SK Energy, to expedite its transition to a green energy solution & mobility platform service provider," said Dong-soo Kang, EVP of Platform and Marketing CIC, SK Energy.


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