An update from John Bysinger, Fēnix’s CEO:
Hello everyone, with the whole globe seemingly holding its collective breath for the moment, I wanted to personally share quite a few updates on related to the pandemic and a few other more exciting topics. There is quite a bit to read through here, consider it my part in providing exciting reading material for our followers self-isolating and going stir-crazy!
I had hoped that we could begin installs without delays due to the global pandemic, however, it seems we were unable to work around the various restrictions and lockdowns we’re all dealing with. With so much confusion about the crisis itself in the news, the team and I agree that we should continue our policy of openness and share specifics about how Covid is impacting our schedule.
There are four pieces to the Fēnix that could be impacted; operations staff, battery supplier, battery tools supplier and installer.
- Our staff is all up and running from home, sheltered in place but fully functional for our customers.
- Our battery supplier, BigBattery isn’t suspending operations, they’re even supplying portable solar-charged battery trailers for urgent Covid related medical needs.
- Our installers are a mixed bag depending on the location and scale of the business. Many urban locations are suspended or limited operations, but most on our list are likely ready to get moving on installations once they have the necessary tools for the work.
- Our challenge comes from the recent New Zealand Covid lockdown. NZ has opted to go so far as to restrict non-essential shipping, which means the various tools EVs Enhanced has developed for swapping Nissan Leaf batteries are currently on hold. According to the New Zealand Covid website, they don’t have a specific target end date in mind, but I’ll be checking in with their CEO regularly.
Despite the lockdowns, Fēnix is not on hold.
We’re taking advantage of this time to formalize our business partner relationships with our business partners, both our suppliers and various levels of installation partners, as well as complete development of our training and . We’re going to expand our product catalog to include great solutions from both BigBattery and EVs Enhanced.
- With BigBattery, we’re working on offering their fixed storage solutions to our customers as well as investigating other EV make and model battery packs.
- Our discussions with EVs Enhanced will deliver some great opportunities to our current customers, and the EV community as a whole. We’re in discussions to become their North American representation as well as discussing some new tools in development that will make pack swaps even simpler than their current pairing tools already do.
- For our installation partner network, we’re developing an addition to our website covering our installation network. This will include both a map and searchable list of approved partners, as well as the ability for customers to rate and provide feedback about their experience with each partner.
- And beyond the web expansions listed above, we’re working on expanding our store to include tools and supplies our installers will require to work on our customer EVs, and soon to follow, apparel, window stickers, and other fun Fēnix branded accessories.
Fēnix Funding Needs.
In my past posts, I’ve shared some of the funding challenges we’ve overcome over the last 9 months, I believe it’s important to share how we’re solving our capital requirements, especially while everyone is concerned about the market uncertainty.
We’re taking a five-prong parallel approach to our capital needs; Venture Capital, Angel investment, Equity Crowd Funding, BootStrap and traditional lending.
- Venture Capital: We’re speaking to two private investment groups, one on the West Coast, and the other closer to us here in Charlotte. These conversations are both at the scale we need not just to deliver our CPO batteries to installations but also to bring our Fēnix developed batteries to production. We’re making great progress with these conversations and hope to share good news very soon.
- Angel Investment: I’ve been speaking with nearly a dozen individual Angel investors aiming to secure sufficient funding to deliver CPO batteries to our full 600 customer reservation list, with the goal of doubling that by 2021. These individual conversations are progressing well, but many are still early in the pitch process.
- Equity Crowd Funding: As our reservation holders were already aware, we’re investigating a CrowdFunding campaign, and in our survey, they are quite supportive of this option. I’ve spent years analyzing what it takes to run a successful crowd campaign and have a thorough understanding of what ingredients it takes to achieve success. A solid social following developed prior to launch, a clear, concise business plan, and a well-produced video wrapping it all together. In our recent survey, we found our reservation holders are quite open to this option, but with the current Covid restrictions, we need to hold off on this (but not abandon it!) until the lockdown lifts. We would love to provide our supporters with an opportunity to participate in an equity stake of Fēnix Power!
- Bootstrap Launch: This tactic is just like it sounds. It’s a bit slower and is the option that requires my team and I grind out the business growth one sale or install at a time. This is where we leverage expanding the store catalog to include shipping-only solutions, and leverage those sales for early installs, and further progressing by pushing that revenue into more installs. We’re already on track to proceed with this effort, but we’re very much aware of the strain our customers are experiencing waiting for their much-needed battery help. It’s this customer experience that is driving us to evaluate these five approaches and proceed with most of them in parallel. Our top priority is delivering on our promise of battery relief for each and every reservation holder as quickly as we can.
The Fēnix B.H.A.G.
Through all of these efforts, I have been driving Fēnix towards two Big Hairy Audacious Goals. And while both fit the definition of B.H.A.G. all on their own, they are highly complementary and depend on each other to achieve their best definitions of success:
- Fēnix Power’s Prime Directive is to deliver our intelligent, modular, scalable, and universal energy storage solution to market, capable of adapting to replace any early or modern EV’s battery pack in order to keep as many Electric Vehicles on the road for as many years past warranty as is possible. We believe that when paired with our affordable subscription service, our modular battery solution will enable most EVs to stay in use nearly indefinitely.
- Fēnix Power’s Reason for Existing is to enable just about any vehicle to be converted to an electric powertrain by reducing the high cost of energy storage systems through access to an affordable and powerful subscription-based energy ecosystem, open to 3rd party manufacturers who build power and storage systems designed to integrate with the Fēnix Power network of components.
- My personal EV Evangelism Goal is to show the automotive world that EVs don’t have to be four-door economy hatchbacks. I want to see more EVs that people fall in love with, and my favorite icebreaker when introducing a car fanatic to the world of EV is: If you could convert any vehicle to be fully electric, money no object, what do you dream of driving?
The next several weeks for Fēnix Power are going to be the most exciting we have delivered since I began dreaming of changing the automotive world nearly a decade ago, I look forward to delivering 100’s of smiles to our customers as quickly as we can.
Founder & CEO of Fēnix Power