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

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

Author: Eric Walz   

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.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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