EdgeConneX launches Voltera to address EV charging infrastructure gap

EdgeConneX launches Voltera to address EV charging infrastructure gap

As the world moves towards electric vehicles, the need for infrastructure to support them grows. Voltera is a newly formed firm dedicated to fulfilling this demand by developing, owning, and operating charging facilities that support electric vehicle (EV) deployment and operation at scale.

EdgeConneX, a data center solutions provider, is the company launching Voltera and is providing it with the expertise and experience necessary to deploy EV charging infrastructure at scale. According to the company, this is a natural extension of EdgeConneX’s work in data centers, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable innovation.

“As a pioneer in the digital infrastructure industry, EdgeConneX has solved many of the same challenges EV fleet operators and automakers face – acquiring, permitting, powering and operating sites in strategic locations while ensuring customers’ speed to market,” says EdgeConneX CEO Randy Brouckman. “It’s a highly logical and practical application of our long-developed data center innovations to solve another very real and significant challenge.”

Voltera’s customers are companies that need to charge EVs on a large scale. This includes fleet operators who want to electrify their vehicles without investing a lot of time and money. It also includes automakers who need to deploy the proper charging infrastructure to help support EV sales.

Voltera wants to be the complete-service partner for these companies seeking help with EV deployment and maintenance for large-scale operations. Voltera says it provides everything from siting to acquiring, building, and operating strategically positioned electric vehicle charging facilities.

“Fleet operators, automakers, and consumers alike are adopting electric vehicles at a rapidly accelerating pace. Lagging far behind, though, is the power infrastructure needed to support EVs at scale,” says Voltera CEO Matt Horton. “We have to bridge that gap if we’re going to make zero-emission transportation a reality. That’s what Voltera is doing, and it’s why I’m so excited to be part of this team.”

To get some more insights, EdgeIR asked EdgeConnex some questions about Voltera’s ability to tap into EdgeConnex’ relationships and whether they might see fit to offer edge data center services/

EdgeIR: Will Voltera be able to offer economies of scale as relates to power contracts (buying at lower rates, for both Volterra and EdgeConnex, for example)?

Voltera’s ongoing relationship with EdgeConneX is one of our biggest advantages. Through this relationship, we are embedded in a deep partner network that EdgeConneX has built over 10+ years. This network includes, for example, real estate brokers who enable us to acquire properties quickly in even the toughest real estate markets, and equipment suppliers who enable us to get the power equipment we need quickly even in an environment fraught with supply chain challenges. In addition, EdgeConneX’s deep relationships with utilities and experience working with utilities to acquire large amounts of power quickly in even power-constrained markets enables us to deploy more charging capacity more quickly in the locations our customers need it. (We can’t comment specifically on our plans related to power contracts.)

EdgeIR: What about the overlap, if any, between installation and use of edge compute services on Voltera real estate for non-charging infra uses (edge compute for public or private 5G, micro CDN PoPs, etc?

Voltera is uniquely well-positioned to serve both the charging and the connectivity needs of our customers. We’ve had early and strong adoption from autonomous vehicle companies operating EVs and predict the need for connectivity among those and other types of customers will continue to grow. Many of Voltera’s charging facilities will be in edge locations – dense urban areas, for example – and there could well be an opportunity to deploy connectivity at our locations to serve our customers and others as well. We can’t comment on any particular plans in that regard, but it’s yet again another benefit of the ongoing relationship between EdgeConneX and Voltera.

To help speed up the development of sustainable data center solutions and expand internationally, EdgeConneX recently received $1.7 billion in financing. The funding included the company’s first multi-currency loan and asset-backed securitization loan. The influx of money was to be used for developing and launching data center solutions. Interestingly, the interest rate will be determined by EdgeConneX’s performance in achieving certain prior-set sustainability goals. By 2030, EdgeConneX pledges to operate data center platforms on 100% renewable energy.

Analysis

This partnership is a positive development for the electric vehicle sector as a whole, as it will help speed up EV charging infrastructure deployment. This is critical for supporting the growth of electric vehicles and making zero-emission transportation a reality.

While fulfilling the need for large-scale EV infrastructure will be a considerable undertaking, it’s one that Voltera is well-positioned to handle. With the backing of EQT Infrastructure and the experience and expertise of EdgeConneX, Voltera is in a powerful position to help businesses power electric vehicle fleets at scale.

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