Moment Energy is providing worldwide access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy storage systems (ESS). This vision has helped us form relationships with four automotive OEMs, including Nissan and Mercedes-Benz Energy. We repurpose retired EV batteries into ESS to reduce demand charges and capacity restrictions in deregulated energy markets such as Ontario. Today, we have 29 employees and have deployed projects across Canada. Our core IP is around the development of a BMS that optimizes the performance of second-life batteries.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Edward Chiang. I co-founded Moment Energy in January 2020 with the goal that access to clean and reliable energy becomes a universal human right by upcycling electric vehicle batteries. I am the company’s CEO and lead its growth strategy as well as ensure the company has the resources needed as it grows as a foremost expert in EV battery end-of-life.
I have gained experience working with investors, government agencies, and grant providers to ensure that Moment Energy has the necessary capital to achieve its plan to scale to a billion-dollar revenue company.
Prior to founding Moment Energy, I worked in various technical roles, including hardware manufacturing, provincial logistics optimization, and nuclear research for the government of Canada.
I hold a degree in Mechatronics Systems Engineering. I am an officer in the Canadian Forces working with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and in my free time, I teach 12 to 18-year-olds how to fly gliders and single-engine aircraft.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
If you build the right team, you will be able to solve any problem that comes your way! This has always been a core tenant of our culture at Moment – but I think a couple of years ago, telling myself that this fact is true would have given me even more confidence to keep moving fast as a founder.
What problem does your business solve?
It is estimated that 95 per cent of EV batteries are not handled sustainably when retired from the vehicle. Today, it costs thousands of dollars to recycle EV batteries. As the transition into EVs grows to 125 million by 2030, the improper disposal of the batteries is a growing problem leaving 200 to 300 GWh of end-of-life EV batteries stored on shelves or in landfills. We provide clean, affordable, and reliable energy storage by repurposing these batteries. Today, we have deployed four paid projects across Canada, and our biggest project was a 120kWh system.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
After experiencing energy unreliability in Northern Canada due to a tornado that hit Ottawa, I realized that I wanted to facilitate access to clean and reliable energy for all. With this vision in mind, my friends and I founded Moment Energy to provide clean, affordable, and reliable energy storage by repurposing retired electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Energy storage is critical for a variety of applications. Considering the huge annual growth rate for energy storage, we are really focusing on the short-duration market in commercial and industrial settings. Our solution works well in both on-grid and microgrid applications.
In remote areas, it can be used to reduce diesel dependence while in on-grid settings. Energy storage can provide significant utility cost savings and clean backup power to avoid situations like the Texas Power Crisis we saw last year.
In the on-grid space, commercial and industrial facilities face blackouts and utility demand surge charges, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year due to what is called peak power use, which means they are penalized for using large amounts of power from the grid in a given time interval, even if it’s only for 15 minutes in a day. By installing energy storage systems, industrial companies can draw from stored energy during these peak usage scenarios and avoid exorbitant demand charges. To serve this space, we need to get an on-grid certification, which we will get in 2023.
What is your magic sauce?
We developed a system to take advantage of the remaining 80 per cent capacity in retired EV batteries to reduce demand charges and capacity restrictions in unregulated energy markets such as Texas and Ontario. Our experience in energy research and tech companies like Tesla and Apple opened the doors for relationships with automotive companies such as Nissan North America.
We started working with Nissan Leaf batteries, recovered after their end-of-life in the vehicle. These batteries are provided by Nissan to be used in our energy storage systems applications.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In five years, we would like to have sold 130,000 kWh of energy storage in the on-grid market alone. We would also like to continue growing our network of suppliers. Therefore, we want to onboard four primary and four secondary automaker suppliers. At this stage, we will begin the development of our US, Asia, and European manufacturing facilities.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
In the Initial stages, it can be tough to start prototyping and building without initial capital. We were lucky to count on the support of SFU Venture Connection and Government grants. With their help, we were able to bootstrap and build our first product and proof of concept to gather traction!