Electric Vehicles: The Road to Transition

Electric Vehicles: The Road to Transition

In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, the spotlight is on electric vehicles and environmental conservation. Lauren Conaway dives deep into the EV industry with Tosh Dutt. Our guest is the CEO and co-founder of ChargeNet Stations, developing charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs).

Covered In This Episode

In our quest for sustainability, the concept of electric vehicles is an edge in decarbonization. But with the current challenges of charging EVs, people are experiencing inconveniences that may convince them otherwise. That is about to change with Tosh’s mission to develop a more convenient and accessible charging station for electric vehicles.

Lauren and Tosh also discuss why ChargeNet Stations is focusing on partnerships with fast-food chains compared to other businesses. The pair also delves into the impact of the effort on sustainability. And how widespread awareness can change the game in terms of planet conservation.

Get Started with Full Scale

Are you ready to participate in an environmentally charged conversation?

Business Podcast for Entrepreneurs

Highlights

  • Tosh Dutt’s journey to advocating for environmental conservation and clean technology (03:42)
  • What drives the cause and the challenges facing the industry (08:17)
  • The transition to electric vehicles (17:55)
  • Tosh and ChargeNet Stations’ mission (24:10)
  • The development of charging stations (25:56)
  • How long it takes to charge an EV (29:48)
  • What’s involved in putting the charging stations (30:20)
  • Tosh discusses Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) (32:19)
  • Sustainability and how to make organizations environmentally conscious (35:32)
  • Positive industry changes and their impact on future generations (39:15)

Key Quotes

It was this process of uncovering, discovering new ideas, and then discarding the old ideas that didn’t work. To be able to have that, I guess, audacity to get out of my own way and take the first step.

– Tosh Dutt

Our mission is to displace as many greenhouse gasses from all the major contributors to climate change as much as we can, as fast as we can. And what that means is not just greenhouse gasses from internal combustion engines or fossil fuel generation. But also a high carbon-intensive food supply.

– Tosh Dutt

You know, being socially responsible is not the opposite of profit. Like the two can coexist quite beautifully.

– Lauren Conaway
Hear What Entrepreneurs Have to Say in Startup Hustle Podcast

Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Lauren Conaway

And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHER KC. And I would be very out of turn if I didn’t tell you that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is sponsored by Wix. Yes, our friends over at Wix know a thing or two about turning a scrappy startup into a global organization that serves millions of people. They have a lot of experience doing that. And they want to share what they’ve learned with Startup Hustle listeners in their new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff Wix. When you tune in to Ready for Takeoff Wix, you get to hear from Wix founders and company leaders. They are going to share super short, easily digestible lessons to help you build better programs and teams faster. That is definitely a topic that we, at Startup Hustle, are looking to get behind. We are very grateful; I can’t wait to check out Ready for Takeoff by Wix. We suggest that you subscribe and follow wherever you listen to this show now. Let’s talk about the issue at hand. We have with us today an amazing guest for you, and I think I definitely have to share something that we’re super excited about. We want to congratulate this next guest for being recognized as a top startup in San Diego by Startup Hustle. You probably know by now that Startup Hustle, we love to go from city to city and find startups that are doing really exciting things. And today’s guest is no exception. We have with us today Tosh Dutt, he is the CEO and co-founder of ChargeNet Stations. So, if you are ready to talk about renewable energy, and you’re ready to talk about waves of the future, you’ve come to the right place, my friends. But Tosh has also come to the right place. Tosh, welcome to the show.

01:46.88

Tosh Dutt

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Lauren. It’s really a pleasure to be here.

01:53.86

Lauren Conaway

I’m so glad. And I do have to tell you, friends, for those of you playing at home, do pre-show prep. I think you all know that by now; we kind of talk to the guests, and you know, tell this is how it’s going to go. And Tosh, he’s such a nice guy, like you have the best smile. You can’t see this, folks, because I know this is audio-only, but he has a really great smile. And he is just such a cool dude doing cool stuff. So I am super psyched to have this conversation.

02:21.80

Tosh Dutt

If you saw me on video, I don’t know how cool I look. Because I have like an airplane neck pillar around my neck because I have a pinched nerve in my neck right now, so this is audio.

02:30.28

Lauren Conaway

Hey, you know what, we are far—from us to judge entrepreneurs for, you know, bringing in resources to help them get the job done. I am sorry about your pinched nerve, though.

02:41.47

Tosh Dutt

Thank you, I appreciate it.

02:45.26

Lauren Conaway

That’s a bummer. But what is not a bummer is going to be this conversation. And so I’m gonna go ahead and kick it off. And I’m just gonna ask you, you know, tell us about your journey. Tell us about yourself. Tell us about ChargeNet Stations. We kind of want to hear it for sure.

02:59.74

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, no, thanks. Thanks again for having me here. You know, I started, kind of, my clean-tech journey about twelve years ago. And of all the places in Hawaii.

03:15.73

Lauren Conaway

Ah.

03:18.48

Tosh Dutt

And you know, over the past twelve years, I’ve gotten to get a really great broad perspective of different parts of the energy business having worked with utilities um with infrastructure developers like Johnson Controls and Honeywell and then you know, um. More recently, over the past six years, it has been really focused on energy storage and, you know, software that controls and optimizes energy storage and um. And then also looking at it from the finance perspective and along with the real estate perspective as well. Um, you know I got to represent. Um, some large commercial real estate property owners, and you know, show them the path to integrate more renewables. And also, you know EV charging infrastructure as it’s starting to get more relevant into their portfolios. Um, so that really kind of gave me the broad perspective that I needed when it came time to figure it out. You know what. You know what? What is ChargeNet? What can ChargeNet solve? I guess the solution came before ChargeNet. It gave me the framework to go and investigate and to take the time to, you know, ask other subject matter. Ask. Experts and leaders in the industry, if you know the ideas that I had were where were valid or they were gonna, or they were if they had you know relevance or place in you know in this electrified you know future that we’re trying to create for ourselves as a society. Um. So you know, little under none, I started ChargeNet Stations, and um I’d already had some ideas in my mind about you know who I wanted to do this with and um, one of my co-founders Rebecca Wooff who’s our chief technology officer. She and I worked at, um, a sort of late-stage startup called Demand Energy Networks, which had gotten acquired by AEL, which is a large Italian multinational utility. Um, and um, and you know, the work that she was doing really intrigued me. And um I took a footnote in me, and I and I told myself if I ever start a company or you know to venture out on my own that um that you know she’s the person that I’m gonna want to do this with into that opportunity came and it came as a result of.

06:00.97

Tosh Dutt

Ah, some other acquisitions that the company that we both, Rebec and I, are with that had gotten acquired had made, um one of them being Emotoworks which is an Ev charging company and another one that demands energy. Um, sorry, enter off which. It is a large energy service provider, and that really kind of made me think about, well, what if you kind of combined all these technologies together? What do you know what it would look like, and where would it be relevant from, you know, from being able to really make an impact. Relative to climate change, I mean the technologies that we’re working with, solar batteries, Fast chargers, All have, you know, really strong opportunities to displace Greenhouse gasses and um, and so you know what some unique ways that we can capitalize on that. You know and and and make deeper cuts to climate change that way. So You know, that really kind of got me going, and yeah, and so here we are.

06:59.44

Lauren Conaway

Sure. Here We are. Yeah, well, and I’m going to. We’re definitely gonna talk about ChargeNet Stations, and we’re gonna talk about that environmental impact piece that I’m gonna back up the truck a little bit, and I’m gonna I want to talk about Tosh. I do. Are you ready? We’re gonna get a little personal.

07:20.67

Tosh Dutt

Um, yeah, all right? Let’s do it.

07:23.88

Lauren Conaway

Here it is, so I want to know what you know outside of your career and things that you’ve done in the past, like what drives you around this cause and what kind of and what inspired you to get involved.

07:37.59

Tosh Dutt

I think what inspired me was really when you know, like most parents, when you become a parent, and you start to think about the world that your kids are gonna live in and um, you start to think about you know what? You’re doing and whether that’s gonna. Have any effect on them, and that was really, you know, the view that I took, I mean, and also, you know, I was pretty fortunate to be in a very sort of um, ah, natural resource-rich environment. Um, you know when I started in. My clean-tech journey started in Hawaii, and it was because I’d met my now-wife in Hawaii. We decided to start a family and um and then you know, and we started our family in l a and then decided to move back to Hawaii. You really start to look at, you know, the natural resources that we have, and you know the sort of impact that we have in an environment. You know, in a state where you know you know it’s so rich and being having to preserve. It. It is so important you become very acutely aware of whether you know what your carbon footprints or you know what? What effect do you know? You’re eating in the environment. Um, so you know this is this process of awareness. You know, uncovering.

08:52.83

Lauren Conaway

Return.

09:06.24

Tosh Dutt

You know, discovering and then discarding, you know, all the ideas that I had about, you know, even personally like my diet. Um, and you know that certain decisions I make around you know which products I use. Um, ah, you know, it really kind of opened my eyes And. Um, and you know, as my kids got older. They became very, you know, aware as well, and you know they feel the impacts. So you know, I get to get live feedback on, you know, their environments and the things that they’re seeing.

09:31.60

Lauren Conaway

Go.

09:43.10

Tosh Dutt

Um, and you know the causes that they care about as well.

09:44.94

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, and I love that you kind of drew it back to you know that? Not just your family but your immediate environment as well. I mean, if you’re surrounded by so much natural beauty, you’re going to do everything you can to sustain it and to protect it, and I love that. But you’ve taken kind of an interesting path. Um, you know, I understand that you studied biomedical engineering, and I got to tell you that clean energy tech. That’s a little bit of a leap. So how did that happen?

10:17.29

Tosh Dutt

Well, there really isn’t, um, much of you know biotech or even a tech industry. Um, in Hawaii, um, and that’s kind of you know why? Why does that change happen, and you know, having a technical background and. You know, having worked in the semiconductor industry for a bit. Um, you know it was. It was a welcome change. Um, for me, and it was a bit scary too because you know where I am, you know, and while you know, I’m amongst um, the family that my wife has in Hawaii, and you know we have a. Um, you know the family and and and friends there, you know going into a sort of a new corporate environment, and new cultures was a bit frightening. Um, but you know we are. There were some really great ones. There are some really great people that I got to work with, um both, ah you know in the startup world in Hawaii and also at the utilities with electric and you know other um other utilities and why and um, you know everyone was really. Everybody really cared. Everybody really cared about you knowing the mission and kind of the objectives. Um, in the goals that were set, and you know, as you know who I am really proactive in setting there, you know 0 net energy goals ahead of everyone else. And you know they’ve done a lot of great work to achieve that, and um, it feels good to know that you know, in some small way, I’ve been a part of that.

11:56.79

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, we’re gonna, man, we’re gonna drill down on that, but you said something that was really interesting to me, and so we’re going to drill down on that Now. Um. You know, one of the things that I think that is kind of pervasive to the entrepreneurial experience is fear, um, you know, and you said that there was some fear around jumping into a new industry and um, so I’m really curious. To hear a little bit more about that because I feel like every entrepreneur has that moment where they are so deeply uncomfortable with the space that they have found themselves in. You know it’s not easy to start a business. It’s not easy to start to do something new, and so I’m really curious. You know.

12:37.59

Tosh Dutt

Okay.

12:43.16

Tosh Dutt

Ah.

12:48.28

Lauren Conaway

You said that you had some really great people who helped you along the way. But how did you, Tosh, personally deal with that fear and keep on keeping on in the face of it.

12:58.10

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, that’s a really interesting and very dynamic question as simple as it is, um, you know there’s the fear that you’re not going to succeed, you know a lot of entrepreneurs, myself included. You know we generally have our one position. Gaining in our own way and then something has to happen for us to get out of our own way in order to proceed and so for me what it was is like I shared. It was this process of uncovering, discovering new ideas and then discarding the old ideas that didn’t work. To be able to have that, I guess, audacity to get out of my own way and take the first step. Um, you know, the things that really motivated me to do that were, you know, I really wasn’t getting where I wanted to go in the corporate world. And you know I knew I knew that there was something different that I think I knew that there was something more that I could offer, but you know the corporate world is set up to favor, you know, specific people and. Um, I didn’t fit into those categories, and so um, so you know it’s being able to understand that like wait, there is another path here and that um, that unless you take the first step. Ah.

14:12.17

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

14:30.34

Tosh Dutt

You know you’re going to be in the same position that you’re always going to be in, so you know it was a struggle it was ah it was a struggle going from opportunity you know going from roll to roll for a bit um but was interesting was like each role that I moved to had relevance. Relative to what I’m doing now. So it’s almost like I was like, you know, and it’s all how you perceive it, right? And you know what? What lens do you look through? Um, and what do you take out of it? But for me, this is my education.

14:49.42

Lauren Conaway

And Yes.

15:04.24

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

15:06.54

Tosh Dutt

The things that I went through over the past twelve years and the struggles that I went through led me to be where I’m at right now and to have the fortitude and to have the mental capacity to be able to do it and to be able to stay focused and stay focused on my vision. And not compromise on my goals.

15:25.36

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, and it, I mean, it seems like every step that you have taken on your path has, in fact, been preparing you for where you are now, and I and I love that I think that our journey is you know we just we have so many opportunities to. Take what we need, leave the rest but then grow and evolve as leaders and as founders and as entrepreneurs, and so it’s really, really awesome to hear that you kind of. Avail yourself of that life experience, and it just speaks very well to you as an individual, so congratulations on that. Yeah, for sure. Well, and now I’m curious. You know I’d like to.

16:01.53

Tosh Dutt

Thank you for appreciating it.

16:12.47

Lauren Conaway

Kind of set the stage a little bit for our listeners before we kind of do more of a deep dive into ChargeNet Stations. But, um, I just have a stat here, and I’m going to go ahead and read it, and here it comes.

16:19.36

Tosh Dutt

You know.

16:26.16

Lauren Conaway

In over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average of CO2, and for those of you who have a difficult time kind of wrapping your mind around it, that is the equivalent of 4 return flights from London to Barcelona so some pretty deep impact.

16:42.53

Tosh Dutt

Um, yes, yes, definitely yeah.

16:44.13

Lauren Conaway

Right? Tosh, when we’re talking about kind of setting the stage for this transition to electric vehicles. You know there are currently No legal plug-in EVs in the US, um, question.

16:58.79

Tosh Dutt

And of.

17:02.81

Lauren Conaway

What are you seeing in this transition to electric vehicles? What does the landscape look like today?

17:09.84

Tosh Dutt

I think the transition to electric vehicles is happening a lot faster than people had thought and it kind of just kind of crept up on us, and what’s happening is that there’s far more demand than there’s supply. And then you also have supply chain issues that are kind of protracting that. Um, but you know, with oil and gas prices being so high too. It’s pushing, and it’s pushing people further toward TV and what’s happening in industries having to catch up.

17:32.33

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

17:48.98

Tosh Dutt

So you know it’s a good problem to have, but at the same time, you know the same rate at which people are adopting. EVs are nowhere near the same rate at which we’re building EV charging stations to support that, and that’s really what the biggest problem is right now. There are only 77 fast charges for every EV.

18:00.34

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

18:08.73

Tosh Dutt

California is the state with the largest DB adoption. Um, so you know there are some gaps that need to be filled, and um, there are some really exciting opportunities that I think we as an industry, you know, and it and my peers in a. And the EV charging infrastructure industry. You have to be able to support that.

18:28.29

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, and on the consumer Side. You know, I feel like the adoption rate has been really interesting because I remember when electric vehicles first came out, and it seemed like they were this New. You know, shiny things. Some people were really excited about them there. There were people who were very Concerned. You know, like natural gas proponents and you know things like, and so it’s been really interesting to watch the adoption rate sort of scale. Um, as the technology has improved and as the.

18:59.65

Tosh Dutt

These.

19:04.71

Lauren Conaway

Market Saturation has become more evident. What have been some of the stumbling blocks for the industry as a whole?

19:13.80

Tosh Dutt

I think having sort of clarity around charging. Um, you know, charging rates. How people can charge. Um, you know there’ve been, you know, I’ve heard quite a few instances if you know people are buying EVs because they’re fed up with, you know, the man of gas that they’re having to pay not realizing that they have to pay for the Ev charging and it is going to cost them some money not as much as it’s going to cost gas. Um, but then not really kind of not knowing how to charge and.

19:42.54

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

19:49.25

Tosh Dutt

You know, not really having a positive experience. So I think you know there are some companies out there that are starting to educate consumers prior to you knowing if they are looking for an EV purchaser even if they’re not, and you know educating people on like hey this is. How electrified transportation works, and this is how charging works. These are different types of charging. This is about how much it costs and how long it takes to charge, so you know it’s I think it’s education and then again you know it’s lack of infrastructure, and you know. Sort of the current infrastructure not being placed in areas that are really sort of intuitive people that are intuitive for people to go to or accessible or you know or reliable or transparent when it comes to you know that the.

20:32.91

Lauren Conaway

Right.

20:43.85

Lauren Conaway

Now.

20:44.65

Tosh Dutt

Charging So, you know what? What people are looking for is charging, so you know that those are all opportunities that are available for us to fix. Yeah.

20:52.44

Lauren Conaway

Well, and yeah, I was going to note that infrastructure piece. Ah, ah, that seems to be a large bit of the problem that Chargenet stations have been tasked with solving, and so but before we delve deeper.

21:10.46

Tosh Dutt

Um, you know.

21:11.40

Lauren Conaway

Into that, because that’s coming up next, I do want to just mention, well, actually, I have a question for you, Tosh here. Have you ever heard of Wix? Have you ever used Wix? Ah, through the course of your business. Dude, yes.

21:25.59

Tosh Dutt

Wix is awesome. I’ve seen really good websites on Wix, and it’s really impressive.

21:30.30

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, I know, I know I wholeheartedly agree. Like I’ve used Wix, I love it. I love to use it. It’s so easy. I am not a developer, and I use Wix to build websites. They just make it so so easy. You know. None of the things that Wix has a lot of experience in is building a global company. They’ve done so, and they’ve done so very, very well. They have a highly recognizable brand, and they have a product that people are clamoring for, so the next step in their progression, and I’m super excited about this, is our friends over at Wix. Ah, they know about turning startup teams into global organizations. They serve millions of people throughout their business, and they want to share what they’ve learned with new audiences. They have developed this new micro podcast series called Ready for Takeoff Wix. And the company founders and leaders. They’re going to share these really short lessons. I love micro podcasts as a concept because I think that nobody, not everybody, necessarily has time to sit down and listen to a podcast for an hour. You know so, so finding ways to take in knowledge quickly is awesome. Um, but these super short lessons are designed to help you build better products. Build better teams to do your business better and do it faster. You can subscribe and follow Ready for Takeoff Wix right now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to this show, and we suggest that you do that now. Folks, we are here with Tosh Dutt. He is CEO and co-founder of ChargeNet Stations, and thus far, we’ve talked a little bit about Tosh. We’ve talked about the landscape of sustainability and electric vehicles. But now we want to drill down on purpose, and so I want to talk to you specifically about ChargeNet Stations. As an entity. Ah, what do you do?

23:24.11

Tosh Dutt

So I’ll kind of start with our mission. Our mission is to displace as many greenhouse gasses from all the major contributors to climate change as much as we can, as fast as we can. And what that means is not just greenhouse gasses from internal combustion engines or fossil fuel generation. But also a high carbon-intensive food supply and so what we do is we partner with quicker restaurant franchisees and their brands, and we turn their underutilized parking. Lots.

23:57.20

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

24:02.90

Tosh Dutt

On their freestanding pads into ultrafast electric vehicle charging stations with energy storage and solar where it makes sense to do it in our software platform is able to integrate all those technologies together. Um, and use data that we collect from our white label.

24:08.95

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

24:21.64

Tosh Dutt

Front end app that um integrates both the Ev charging and food point of sale to provide more accurate predictions on how Ev drivers will use that station or how we should use our other technologies like solar and battery storage. Um. And so that’s what we do, and we do this all at no cost to our partners. The franchisees that we work with.

24:44.22

Lauren Conaway

That’s incredible. So I’m going to tell it’s not really a story, I guess a vignette ah one of the things we have here in Kansas City which is where we Startup Hustle is headquartered.

24:50.85

Tosh Dutt

Sure.

24:58.86

Lauren Conaway

Ah, we are right in the backyard at the Kauffman Foundation, and if you are an entrepreneur, you have probably heard about the Kauffman Foundation. They do incredible work supporting entrepreneurs, and ah, you know, worldwide, they are a multi-billion dollar foundation. Um, they have to charge stations in their parking lot, and I think that’s super cool. And very excited. However, I would say that I have had the thought, you know, periodically, I’m like the average layperson not going to go and hang out in the Kauffman Foundation’s parking lot. You know they just don’t have the occasion too and so.

25:31.33

Tosh Dutt

Right.

25:36.90

Lauren Conaway

You know, I think that Kaufman has done this really, really awesome thing to make this available. But the fact is, you know, I love the fact that you even said it. You know people aren’t necessarily intuitively going to go to some of the places where some of these charging stations are located, but you’ve chosen to focus on.

25:49.12

Tosh Dutt

Movement.

25:52.92

Lauren Conaway

Fast food chains. Um, you know, I think I read somewhere that ChargeNet Stations are now at 70 Taco Bell restaurants which, by the way, are well done with a round of applause.

26:00.34

Tosh Dutt

Well, hold your horses there, yet I know we’re in the process of building them, and those will be available by the end of this year, so um yeah, thanks, yeah, I just want to make sure we’re presenting the right info. Um.

26:10.35

Lauren Conaway

That’s incredible. Sure, sure, well, all right? So why? All right? The plan is to have ChargeNet Stations at ah one Taco Bell restaurant. Okay, let me refrain. Ah, but I have my question.

26:22.80

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Andy.

26:28.86

Lauren Conaway

Suppose you know why you are focusing on fast chains. Why not gas stations or malls, or you know, other types of businesses.

26:35.32

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, no, that’s a great question, one that I get all the time, so you know if you want to meet people where they’re at, go to where they’re gonna be, so you know 40% of the Us population eats at least one fast food meal a day, so that’s 20000000 people a day that is going.

26:43.00

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

26:51.30

Lauren Conaway

Reus.

26:53.52

Tosh Dutt

You know, sitting in a car in a drive-through in a parking lot eating, you know, eating food from quicker restaurants, and you know, for us, it’s woven into the DNA of our culture. It’s convenient, it’s fast, and you know, contrary to popular belief, a lot of people that think that you know sort of like. You know more, and low-income people eat at quicker restaurants because of the price point that’s actually not true. The meaning and income of someone that eats quickly at quicker restaurants are $4000 a year. So it’s really kind of spread across everyone in every demographic irrespective. You know all the other sort of you know buckets that we want to silo people into, and the other thing too is you know, you know, kind of relative to the question of well why not gas stations. Well, you know the time it takes to fill up gas doesn’t align with the time it takes to fill up. You know the time it takes to. Charge a car significantly enough to be able to, you know, for it to be useful, and that’s not going to happen until battery technology, and you know other technologies, you know, advance to the point where you can get that, but we can use line up the time it takes to eat a meal with the time it takes to get enough charge to get on with the rest of your day.

28:06.44

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

28:10.26

Tosh Dutt

So like this year, you know we can get enough. We can get people you know at least one hundred miles, and fifty minutes um for about 50 bugs so that you can get on with the rest of your day next year. That’ll be faster and then double that in 10 minutes, so you know the idea is that. You know, with the people that are going to be that are now starting to adopt Dvs, you know with um, there being a $30000 less price point. Um, you know, like with a Chevy bolt, we’re going to start seeing more of those, and it’s going to really open up the EV market to a lot more people. Especially since the business model of owning an EV and sort of the total cost of ownership is a lot different than an internal combustion engine vehicle, so it allows that access a lot better, and that’s why we’re focused on that in that space.

28:51.97

Lauren Conaway

Right.

28:58.16

Lauren Conaway

Okay, well, well, I love it. Hey, this is actually just for my personal interest because I’m very curious, on average, about how long it takes to charge an EV.

29:08.35

Tosh Dutt

Um, right now, it depends on where you go and how fast the charges are, but on average, you know it. It takes roughly fifteen-twenty minutes to get from like 20% to 60%.

29:22.67

Lauren Conaway

Okay, I see. I had no idea you just gave me a frame of reference. I love it, and talk to us a little bit more about the tactics of introducing these charging stations. Um, at locations, you know what’s involved in putting them up.

29:26.92

Tosh Dutt

Um, yeah.

29:39.24

Tosh Dutt

Well, you know these are um, infrastructure projects and um, you know our partners that are franchisees that we work with you know we plan out ahead and we look at you know their development schedules, and we plan.

29:43.44

Lauren Conaway

Um, yeah.

29:58.90

Tosh Dutt

You know we plan construction. You know strategically to meet um to meet you know, specific schedules that they have to meet as well. So you know it’s a collaborative process, and you know. Ah, it takes about three weeks of construction from the time you know you get your permit, and you first start digging. Um, and ah, you know it’s um, it’s a very collaborative process that we take, and the reason why it’s collaborative is um, you know our solutions are entirely white-labeled. So you know the partners that we work with like Taco Bell and and and others. Um, you know we’re working with them on, you know, white labeling the entire solution for them.

30:45.41

Lauren Conaway

That’s awesome, and you said that there’s no cost to the franchisee.

30:47.37

Tosh Dutt

No, we work with you know investors that invest in solar and Ev charging and batteries. Um, and understand the investment opportunity, and you know we deploy capital for those projects. Ah, and you know, build them out and provide a really good rate of return.

31:06.22

Lauren Conaway

Okay, well, I’m really curious to hear where you think ChargeNet Stations is going. I mean, you clearly have some projects in the works over the course of the next year. You know we just talked about the big Taco Bell win, but what else is on. On the table as far as achievements and as far as future plans and vision for ChargeNet Stations.

31:32.80

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, well, you know I have this audacious goal of building the largest fast-charging network that no one’s ever heard of. Um, So I don’t.

31:38.85

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, wait. So did you just say an audacious goal? Do you ascribe to Bee Hags all right? So a Beehag is a big hairy audacious goal, and it sounds like you’ve got him.

31:50.39

Tosh Dutt

Oh well, yes, I do, and so you know, by the end of this year, um, our goal is to have about 80 locations between Southern California and the bay area. Um, um, you know, with ours. Our current partner and next year, you know our goal is to expand to you know Um, you know, nationally um and you know to build out a national network.

32:18.26

Lauren Conaway

Okay, well, and I have to ask the question because when we talk about, you know, you’ve mentioned carbon footprint, and you’ve mentioned the environmental impact that this can have, so if you were to have, I don’t even know if you’ll know this number, but you know you can give us a ballpark. Maybe.

32:36.40

Tosh Dutt

Go ahead.

32:38.18

Lauren Conaway

But if you had 80 stations operating at some kind of significant capacity, I don’t know a None for whatever. Ah, you know what kind of environmental impact. Are you hoping to see it come out of that?

32:51.86

Tosh Dutt

Well, it’s all out of scale. So you know we have some projections on you know what kind of carbon offset. We can expect you to know over a ten-year period with this.

33:03.10

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, see, you just said that much better than I did because I think that’s kind of what I was getting at.

33:07.56

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, yeah, I mean to kind of put a firm number on it, and it is tough at this point. But um, you know, once we start getting some hard data, but you know, we know it’ll be impactful, I mean, just to give you a sense of that scale.

33:13.57

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

33:24.82

Tosh Dutt

California has 30 about thirty-one thousand five hundred quicks of restaurants in the state, and if you look at you know where these quicks or restaurants are located. They’re pretty much at every onramp and off-ramp across every major highway across the US. So you know the opportunity that we’re creating.

33:28.40

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

33:43.67

Tosh Dutt

To Displace Greenhouse gasses from internal and Combustion Engines Fossil Fuel generation and high carbon-intensive you know food products where they’re consumed at the source The most is gonna I think it’s gonna be. It’s gonna have a sort of like a multiplier effect on the type of the amount of carbon we can offset. Yes.

34:03.15

Lauren Conaway

That exponential impact. Yeah, that’s awesome. Oh my god, I’m just so excited. Well, one of the things that I’m I’m going to switch directions here just a little bit but 1 of the things that I like to do.

34:07.87

Tosh Dutt

Um, yes.

34:19.80

Lauren Conaway

In episodes of Startup Hustle, I like to talk about those actionable things that our listeners can take from the lessons. You’re so freely and generously sharing with us, and I’m going to ask you? You know if not every.

34:29.29

Tosh Dutt

And the.

34:35.27

Lauren Conaway

Person listening is going to. You know, be able to find their own eco-conscious socially responsible. Ah, you know the company, and we wouldn’t expect that, but what are some lessons that you would like the entrepreneurs listening at home to know about sustainability and how they can make their organizations more environmentally conscious. Yeah.

34:57.35

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, I think it’s being able to sort of have an awareness of what that net impact is, and then you know being able to quantify it, I think unless you can kind of quantify what that you know what that impact is, it makes difficult to.

35:16.14

Lauren Conaway

Yes.

35:16.44

Tosh Dutt

To offset it and if you can quantify it. You can also quantify the offset, so you know it’s I think it’s just looking for Opportunities. It’s being deliberate about, um, you know which products for materials you use. Um, and it’s um, and it’s also. You know, keeping your eye open to other opportunities. Well, um, you know there’s a lot of investment that is now kind of moved towards, you know impact um to decarbonization. Um, and you know, like to your point now everyone can you know facilitate doing that kind of. You know that kind of decarbonization, but there are other areas that I think help support that, and you know, I think entrepreneurs there is a place I mean this is an existential crisis and like I do believe that entrepreneurs.

36:02.17

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

36:14.89

Tosh Dutt

You know if they can get creative, if we can get creative enough, and we can find a problem with anything we can. We can find a solution to any problem. So um.

36:18.97

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, that’s what we do. That’s what entrepreneurs are: we’re problem solvers who just happen to attach revenue streams to the actions we take? Yeah, ah.

36:27.47

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, I mean, my belief is that you can be a good steward. You can decarbonate and make big cuts on decarbonization. You can also be really profitable too. So.

36:38.44

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah, and I love that. I actually think that would be my takeaway from this. You know, being socially responsible is not the opposite of profit. Like the two can coexist quite beautifully.

36:51.64

Tosh Dutt

Okay.

36:56.94

Lauren Conaway

And I love the fact that you’re at the forefront of this and actually that, you know what? That’s my question to you. You know how it feels knowing that you are at the forefront of an industry that is very quick and in a consuming kind of fashion going to change.

37:02.17

Tosh Dutt

Ah.

37:13.84

Lauren Conaway

You know, change transportation and change the face of the way that we move around in our lives like what? What’s that feel like?

37:22.28

Tosh Dutt

It’s actually a really humbling feeling, and you know, for me. Um, you know our sort of ethos around ChargeNet is stewardship. You know we are at the service of you know about mother nature in the environment, right?

37:30.39

Lauren Conaway

Well.

37:36.44

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

37:39.66

Tosh Dutt

That’s our purpose in serving that. Um, but they’re also a lot of other really amazing companies. Um, you know, even ones that we’re part of accelerators with some are some even some of our competition. Um, you know that. We are doing really amazing things to help support. You know the goals that we have, and we have a common shared goal, and so you know, as much as you know, we’re fighting to make our own space in the market. Um, you know the things that we’re doing are going to help, you know, helping support. Um, you know our decarbonized feature, our electrified feature, and so you know, I think it’s a situation where it’s not where one person wins, or one company wins. Um, I think it’s going to be a situation where you know a lot of folks if you can do it right.

38:25.67

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

38:32.30

Lauren Conaway

Absolutely well, and I think it bears mentioning that not only are you creating impact in the here and in the now, but the actions that you are taking in the industry that you’re driving forward have the opportunity to impact. So Future Generations. You know the things that we do now are going to have ripple effects that we’re probably not even aware of and could never be aware of all of them. But the fact is you’re creating a legacy. You know, with this company that you’re building and so that’s super impressive.

39:09.50

Tosh Dutt

Yeah, I mean, you know, I hope, um, you know, we get to do this for a long time. Um, because there’s a lot that we need to do to, you know to try and slow this freight train called climate change coming our way.

39:15.77

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

39:24.57

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, no yeah, for sure. Well, I just wanted to mention that, and it takes us to our human question. I’m going to talk about legacy a little bit, but we have come up. We have come up with our human question, and I’m going to ask you.

39:26.84

Tosh Dutt

Um, or this already here, I mean.

39:36.70

Tosh Dutt

I mean.

39:44.17

Lauren Conaway

Ah, speaking of legacies. What if you had the choice. What would you want to be written on your tombstone? It’s so deep. I’m taking us out deep.

39:45.16

Tosh Dutt

I have. Oh wow, That’s a really interesting one. Um.

39:58.20

Tosh Dutt

Um, maybe something like here lies a good friend, father-son. Um, and good steward in the environment, I don’t think maybe that.

40:12.72

Lauren Conaway

Woo, I like it. I really do because it speaks to not only what you do. It speaks to who you are.

40:15.25

Tosh Dutt

What do I want to say there? Um, yeah, yeah.

40:23.57

Tosh Dutt

Great, right? Yeah yeah.

40:28.34

Lauren Conaway

Very cool, all right. Well, that was a fantastic answer for a fantastic person. Ah, Tosh, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share with us. I knew that this was gonna be a good one, and it was.

40:33.31

Tosh Dutt

Um, thank you.

40:42.80

Lauren Conaway

So, well done, and thank you for everything that you do for all of us. But more specifically, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today.

40:50.57

Tosh Dutt

Well, thank you, Lauren, and thank you for allowing me to have a voice. And it’s really exciting to be able to share, you know.

40:56.82

Lauren Conaway

Oh, yeah.

41:04.72

Tosh Dutt

What’s passionate to me and what we’re doing to help make the world a better place.

41:08.75

Lauren Conaway

I love it. I have loved every minute of learning more about you and ChargeNet Stations. It’s been an honor. And speaking of honors, it is absolutely an honor to have you as our episode sponsor, Wix. Once again, today’s episode of Startup Hustle was sponsored by Wix. If you are an entrepreneur or a founder trying to figure out how to successfully navigate hypergrowth, it’s a rocketship. It’s really difficult to deal with, and it can be overwhelming. But if you’re looking to take control of your company’s online presence internally and externally, Wix Enterprise can definitely help. I know so many people who use the Wix Enterprise platform. It provides businesses with an all-in-one solution for all types of growth and business needs. You can create high-performing websites. They are all backed by enterprise-grade security, which I know is a major concern. They offer support experts to help you level up and to help you manage and scale online, so head over to https://wix.com for more information, friends. We are very grateful that you join us week after week and listen to the Startup Hustle podcast. But I also want to point you out to our Startup Hustle TV. I don’t know if you all know it, but we have a whole TV channel, a series of web episodes, that you can find on YouTube if you search for Startup Hustle. I and the other Startup Hustle hosts sometimes look really smart. Sometimes, we look really dumb, but you get to follow us on our journeys as entrepreneurs—as we make our way in the world. So definitely check that out. Keep on coming back week after week. It is truly a pleasure to do this with you, and we hope you keep on doing it. We will catch you on the flip side.

Sponsor Highlight

This episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Wix. If you have difficulty managing your company’s hypergrowth phase, turn to Wix for support.

With their business-building platform, you can handle your startup team effectively and transform them into a global organization. Moreover, their user-friendly website builder makes it easy to manage your company’s online presence internally and externally.

On top of that, you can listen to Wix’s new micro-podcast, Ready for Takeoff by Wix. You get to hear lessons and tips from the organization’s founders and leaders regarding building better teams and programs.

And before you listen to another Startup Hustle episode, you may want to visit our podcast partner page. These organizations help us share tips and lessons for every entrepreneur and future business owner.