As a global remote-first organization, Airfleet works with developers right across the globe and while it's beneficial being able to recruit the very best talent regardless of a physical location, it puts us at the mercy of our employee's power supplies and country's critical national infrastructure so, when your team works in countries such as South Africa or Sri Lanka, where power cuts are at an all time high, productivity massively declines. Until now.
Director of Productivity, Miriam Susser, felt the frustration of the team who just wanted to be able to work, so she went to work to devise a way to mitigate these power outages and keep productivity high, without paying for and installing heavily polluting generators at each employee's home.
Miriam approached an Israeli start-up, REPWR, a business centred around building self-sufficient domestic electric charging stations from renewable energies such as solar and wind, to discuss her idea of using electric car charging stations to drain car batteries and put the energy back into the house to keep computers running when the lights go out.
'When you're coding, you're not using your car', said Miriam, 'and so it makes sense to utilize power that's readily available to you rather than having to down tools and stop until the power comes back on, which can be minutes, hours or even days."
The first meeting
Issac Nisan, CEO of REPWR met with Miriam and their bond was instant. "I knew from the moment Miriam walked in the room that she meant business, which is such a refreshing change to many of my other meetings. Then, as Miriam began talking about her idea and how she wanted to partner with REPWR to build a prototype of her vision, I knew this was a project I simply had to be a part of," commented Issac.
Miriam presented Issac with a multitude of statistics for current and projected power-outages worldwide, as well as the increase in the global population working from home, which when combined with country specific initiatives to remove diesel vehicles from the roads and move everyone over to electric by 2030/50, made a very compelling case.
"It was just too good a pitch to turn down." Said Isaac.
After hitting the Design Thinking room at REPWR, Miriam & Isaac's team began creating the prototype and researching the possibilities this project could open up.
"We decided that we'd remove the added complication of the renewable energy provision for round 1 and focus simply on developing the technology to drain the power from a charged car battery and then push it back into the household," said Isaac.
However, the team quickly realized that they could not only use the car battery to provide energy for the household, but that they could also use it as a storage device, meaning that any surplus energy collected during the daytime (when the sun was shining) could be used to top up the home battery bank, and then used at night when needed.
"It was clear from very early on in the prototype development process that we had something really special here," said Miriam. "So far, we've installed 5 of the REPWR Home's at our employee's residences, as well as gifting them an all electric car and to date, our teams in the worst effected areas are yet to go offline! It's working brilliantly and we'll be rolling it out to the rest of our workforce over the next 12 months."
So what does this mean for Airfleet?
"This is a really exciting development for Airfleet," said Miriam. "We're always looking for ways to increase our productivity and make it easier for our developers to work from anywhere in the world, and this charging station does just that. Not only does it provide a renewable energy source to charge electric cars, but it also provides energy back to the house to keep computers running when the lights go out – which is invaluable when you're working in a country like South Africa or Sri Lanka where power cuts are at an all time high."
How to get your hands on your own REPWR Home
The charging station, which is called the REPWR Home, is a sleek and stylish product which can be installed in any home and comes with an easy-to-use app which allows users to see how much energy they are currently generating and using.
The REPWR Home will be available for pre-order in mid-April and will begin shipping in Q3 of 2022.
Join the mailing list
Don't want to miss out on your chance to pre-order the REPWR home for delivery in early Q3? Don't worry! You can subscribe to our waiting list and as soon as it opens up, we'll send you an email so you can be first in line.
Note: This article was published at 6AM GMT on the 1st April 2022.