Jed Routh, director of markets for Kempower's United States operation, demonstrates how the company's modular charging system functions. - Photo: Wes Platt

Jed Routh, director of markets for Kempower's United States operation, demonstrates how the company's modular charging system functions.

Photo: Wes Platt

Kempower, a fast-charging solutions provider that got its start in Finland, is weeks away from opening its first U.S. production facility in a North Carolina industrial park.

The company, part of the Kemppi Group, is putting the final touches on its 170,000-square-foot plant where it will build and test its modular and scalable Kempower Satellite charging system.

Kempower leased its three buildings in Durham this summer and could start producing fleet electrification equipment by the end of the year. It has all come together pretty quickly.

“It’s pretty neat,” said Tim Joyce, president of Kempower North America, as he led a hard-hat tour of the facility. “But I think that’s a microcosm of what our company is all about. We’ve grown very rapidly in a very short period of time, and have had a lot of success based upon how we’ve handled things. And the stress of setting up a place like this, it’s just pretty much normal operating procedure for us. So, not that anyone ever gets used to it, but it’s part of the culture of the company.”

The DC fast-charging system provided by Kempower includes a centralized power unit that can yield up to 600kW DC power, which can be dynamically distributed between up to eight charging inputs via charging satellites.

Kempower’s solutions are geared toward public charging, marine, and fleets – including the school bus market, which has seen growing interest in electrification thanks in large part to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program.

Kempower's new 170,000-square-foot facility consists of three buildings where its charging solutions can be produced and tested. - Photo: Kempower

Kempower's new 170,000-square-foot facility consists of three buildings where its charging solutions can be produced and tested.

Photo: Kempower

Jed Routh, direct of markets for Kempower, considers his company’s product “a really nice solution” for school districts and other student transportation providers because it offers the option for low power, long dwell time charging as well as quick charging for field trips.

“Our product allows you to do everything with one product,” Routh said. He also noted that the system’s cost benefit works out to be relatively inexpensive, which is critical for many districts.

Of further interest, he said, is the flexible fixability of the charging cabinet. When a module fails, it can be removed and replaced without disabling the entire system.

“We want to take that fear away from the transportation director and say, ‘We’ve got something that’s going to work for you in a pinch,” Routh said.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Former Executive Editor

Wes Platt is the former executive editor of School Bus Fleet magazine.

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