As part of the global agenda to reduce global emissions and slow down the depletion of the ozone layer which causes global warming, much of the industrial world is gradually pivoting towards reducing fuel emissions through the introduction of electronic vehicles.
As such, electronic recharging stations are being built to serve as ‘fueling’ centers for these electronic vehicles. However, the building of electronic vehicles recharge centers has largely been dominated by White men. And in cases where Blacks own recharge centers, they are mostly men.
One Black woman is setting the pace for other women who look like her to follow in her footsteps in the building and owning of electronic recharge stations in America. Natalie King is the founder of Dunamis Charge, the first Black-woman-owned manufacturer of electric vehicle recharging stations, according to Forbes. She birthed the idea after taking a nap.
“I woke up from that nap and there was a clear direction of the next thing you need to do is electric vehicle charging manufacturing,” King told Forbes in an interview.
The former attorney and her now-divorced husband established a solar energy firm as an entrepreneurial venture back in 2007. However, the company dissolved after the collapse of their marriage.
It was through the experience with her husband’s firm that she developed a passion for clean energy. This led her to found Dunamis Clean Energy Partners in 2012. The company initially focused on energy auditing, serving as a trade ally for multiple utility companies and incentive procurement, focusing primarily on commercial and industrial customers, Forbes said.
King while conducting the energy audits learned that a lot of her clients were upgrading their LED lighting. According to Forbes, she landed a big LED deal with several Michigan health clinics but a local manufacturer she was working with never delivered the product.
Someday in 2018, she got a direction to dive to electronic vehicle charging. According to her, the direction came to her after a nap from church.
“I woke up from [an after church] nap, and there was a clear direction of ‘the next thing you need to do is electric vehicle recharging manufacturing,'” King said. She used one year to conduct research and developed a prototype. Now, the Dunamis Charge devices are in the final stage of certification.
According to Forbes, the Dunamis Charge devices feature three different products: a fast charger that can recharge a vehicle within 30 minutes, equipped with a smart screen that can be used for advertising; a residential model device that can be mounted to a garage wall and charge a vehicle within four to six hours; and a commercial model that can be placed in a parking structure.
She is currently marketing the chargers to utilities and municipalities. Already, the device has attracted the attention of the Michigan Department of Transportation and Environmental Great Lakes Energy. She is also in talks with General Motors Co.
“Once we get our certifications and testing approved, we would be considered a preferred vendor for their dealership base,” King said.
King plans to open up a factory in Detroit where she will begin work this November with about 30 workers and expects the workforce to double by 2050.
“It means a great deal to me to be the first Black woman-owned EV charger manufacturer in the country. I am really hoping there are more to come. I want to make sure communities of colour are not marginalized and not left out of this opportunity and the multiple benefits this industry brings,” King said.