Palantir & WEJO's Operating System For EV Charging: Explained
In early January of this year, Palantir and one of their SPAC investments, WEJO, unveiled a new operating system for electric vehicle charging stations. In this article I will analyze the potential of this operation system and why it can be a game changer in the EV industry going forward.
From their release,
"The EV Infrastructure Operating System offers any business or organization the ability to build, scale, and operate first-class EV charging infrastructure for the coming mobility revolution. It integrates an organization’s data through Palantir Foundry for operational decision-making, with the option to add Wejo — a robust connected vehicle data asset. The EV Infrastructure OS can help build profitable, efficient, and sustainable EV networks and ensure equitable and universal access to EV charging in the future."
In a nutshell, businesses will be able to use this EV operating system in order to manage all the EV charging stations that exist within a local area. The goal is to attach a data driven approach to the decision making required to effectively charge vehicles across neighborhoods by centralizing that data and using Palantir's software to then meaningfully interpret it.
Palantir unveiling this offering with WEJO was an obvious play to attack the EV market. While Palantir is not a pure EV stock pick like Tesla would be, the market opportunity surrounding EV's is gigantic. Data will be crucial to actually making sure the EV revolution is adopted at scale and software will be the bridge to allow that data to meaningfully be interpreted.
The Current Problem With EV Charging
The current problem with EV charging is described as follows from the report,
"However, universal access to EV charging remains the biggest impediment to widespread EV adoption. To empower companies to take on the challenge, Palantir has unveiled the EV Infrastructure Operating System, an application that helps break down the barriers that stand before the wider adoption of EVs and ensure that future investments in EV infrastructure are equitable, efficient, and sustainable.
An integrated solution for new charger site selection and charger network management, the application can be deployed by federal and state agencies, automakers, charging network operators, retailers, utilities, energy companies, and other organizations looking to define the future of mobility. The platform enables users to layer additional data relevant to their business or organization, ensuring that any organization’s context for site selection and charger operations is accounted for."
The unique idea here is building "an integrated solution for charger network management." Since charging networks will have to cross communicate between various stakeholders that gas stations do not need to (like charging network operators), there lies a unique opportunity
to build the communication mechanism connecting all parties involved.
If network operators don't understand how much energy is being used on a grid and continuing to feed energy into cars that are being charged over night even when they are completely charged, it would just waste resources that could be allocated in better ways.
WEJO has a unique value proposition around connected vehicle data, being one of the leading platforms that sees billions of data points around electric vehicles. Their insights mixed with Palantir's ability to provide technology to ontologize (bring life and meaning) to all that data is what makes this an exciting opportunity.
The Opportunity Lying Forward
The use cases around this product are described as follows from the report,
"The EV Infrastructure Operating System’s built-in site selection tools give operators the ability to intelligently plan and build new charge stations. The site selection workflow can help customers locate sites for chargers in areas where EV charging demand is greatest. It enables users to optimize their site selection for charger utilization, and can also help determine the size, type, and kWh capacity per charger.
For customers opting to leverage Wejo — a vast data asset with billions of near-real-time connected vehicle data points including aggregated vehicle journey paths, vehicle powertrain and fuel types, as well as movement patterns of conventional and electric vehicles — the OS gives users a full picture of demand and customer potential. Then, it helps form a picture of the kind of infrastructure needed at new charging stations according to these factors.
By integrating economic data with charging infrastructure data, users can also create a picture of economic activity around charging stations. A holistic view of what kind of demand can be expected — both today and in the future — is critical for optimal long-term investment decisions and can deliver compounding value."
This strategy is also in line with Palantir's investment in Tritium charging, which is a company that would be the exact client to use the product Palantir and WEJO have created, almost functioning as a three headed monster to attack the EV market.
Tritium has begun expanding rapidly, as noted here. Overall, if Palantir could convince network operators, municipalities, and EV charging stations to all integrate within one software in order to create a much more efficient experience around controlling the electric grid for the EV revolution, there could be significant upside in their pursuits of the EV market.
Execution of getting all these parties to easily see the value of a product like this is going to be the difficult part going forward, but the technology and idea behind it seems like a meaningful way to help accelerate EV adoption going forward.
Here's a video I did on this a while back:
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