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SK Inc, SK Energy acquires US EV charging tech startup Atom Power

From left-to-right: Head of Green Investment Center of SK Inc. Kim Moo-hwan, CEO of Atom Power Ryan Kennedy, and Head of SK Energy’s Solution & Platform Business Division Kang Dong-soo at the signing event.

South Korea's SK Inc. and SK Energy have announced their acquisition of management rights to Atom Power Inc. at $150 million. The SK Group has also acquired an additional $50 million stake in the North Carolina-based startup from earlier investors, making it the largest outside shareholder.

Atom Power's core technology was the 'primary driver' behind the acquisition decision, said the SK Group. The company has also vowed to expand Atom Power's business across the US and in other global markets.

Further, SK Energy plans to incorporate its accumulated expertise in operating charging stations and gas stations operation into this technology.

Founded in 2014, Atom Power developed the 'Solid State Circuit Breaker' (SSCB circuit breakers controlled by power semiconductors). With a vision to up the EV charging experience using high-tech hardware and softwares, the startup is known for its pedestal and wall chargers featuring solid-state circuit breakers and connected technologies.

Unlike ordinary circuit breakers, which are only used to limit power in case of electrical overload, the device also takes the role of measuring and collecting electricity consumption data as the gateway of electricity utilized in each household. This was made possible by the current sensors and software Atom Power had developed.

Atom Power's circuit breakers collect a wide array of data, including the amount of electricity consumption, solar power generation, EV battery charged amount, the amount of charge and discharge of Energy Saver System (ESS), and more. The big data can be utilized not only in households, but also to estimate the power generation and consumption modalities per region, according to the company.

The expansion in the supply of Atom Power's circuit breakers is expected to increase benefits for the energy market, as power producers will be able to estimate the adequate amount to generate, while the consumers will be able to estimate the electricity price.

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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