As the political battle over climate change policy continues, people of color, especially those with low-to-moderate income, are disproportionately and systemically affected by high levels of pollution and poor air quality. Much of this this pollution comes from toxic emissions from tailpipes of gas and diesel cars. According to a recent report, “ambient fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5)” has the potential to be fatal and is listed as the largest environmental cause of human mortality.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become one of the leading solutions to improve air quality since they do not require the toxic transmission for fuel. However, EVs come with a major issue that deter most drivers from making the switch: finding a power source to charge your car battery is an extremely difficult task. Additionally, unlike gas pumps, not all power sources are universally compatible with different car models, especially for more power demanding vehicles. The tedious nature of charging these cars is preventing most drivers from making the switch. 

To make the powering process more efficient, Sparkcharge, a California based start-up, released the world’s first portable, ultra-fast EV charger so drivers can power-up anywhere without limitations. The innovative company was founded by Joshua Aviv, during his undergraduate years as a Data Science major at Syracuse University. In 2014, Aviv developed the initial prototype of the charger and a business roadmap. Once developed, Aviv presented the product on “Shark Tank” where Mark Cuban recognized how significant this is for anyone who drives an electric car.

Image: courtesy of Sparkcharge

Aviv also emphasized that he wanted to make EV ownership more accessible, specifically for communities who are most affected most by air pollution and shift the perception about charging EVs. Ideally it would will lead to cleaner air, less emission and particulates, as a direct result of few internal combustion engines on the road. 

Today, SparkCharge provides on-demand EV charging through its mobile app “Currently,” where EV owners can schedule ultra-fast charging delivery at their precise location. Initially, the on-demand charging service was only available in four major cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Dallas. However after receiving nearly $30 million in investments, SparkCharge is expanding its on-demand services to 11 new California cities, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Oakland, Fremont, Berkeley, Union City, Albany, and Hayward. 

"We believe that everyone deserves access to power, particularly when it comes to the electric vehicle revolution taking place all over the globe" reads the company's mission statement. As one of the very few Black CEOs in cleantech, Aviv’s mission for SparkCharge does not end at contributing to a better environment through electrification but also making a significant positive change in local disadvantaged communities.