ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – If electric vehicles are the future, one Colorado company hopes to be on the crest of wave.
“Everybody is interested,” said Brian Smith, GoSmart Technologies President.
Smith leads the only Colorado company to begin making electric vehicle charging stations. A couple dozen units have already been built in Arvada, sold and installed.
“We’ve probably got another 50 to 100 of committed orders over the next quarter,” Smith said.
GoSmart currently makes two different models. One is for fleet use and sells for $2,000. The commercial model is priced at just over $4,000 and allows any electric vehicle (EV) owner to recharge their car batteries.
A standardized plug clamps on to the vehicle’s charging inlet. The customer purchases electrified “fuel” with a swipe of the credit card, just like a gas pump. Charging time varies based on the vehicle. Smith says the newly-released General Motors Volt requires between 2 and 4 hours of recharging time.
But here’s the rub, the battery powered Volt (and the Nissan Leaf) aren’t even being sold in Colorado at this time. In fact, it’s estimated there are fewer than 500 EVs in the state right now.
So how many charging stations need to be installed before manufacturers like GM and Nissan begin selling their EVs here?
“That is a great question,” Smith said. “That’s one of the big barriers here in Colorado.”
But GoSmart has special technology that allows power companies to balance their load factors with participating plug-in cars. It’s what has helped attract customers from outside Colorado, according Smith.
“I’ve seen a lot of products come and go and I’m excited about this one,” said Joe Triolo, a vice president with Industrialex.
Industrialex, along with TriStar, are two manufacturing partners in Arvada working with GoSmart. The partners do everything from applying logos and powder coating parts to assembling the charging station modules.
“We have manufacturing expertise, we’re helping them take it from (research and development) to the factory floor,” explained Pete Labord, an account manager with TriStar.
GoSmart gets no government subsides.
“We’re self-funded,” Smith said.
Smith predicts mass production of the units could become a reality within 6 months. If he’s right, it will mean new Colorado jobs helping to build the future of electrified transportation.