Penn State students create accessible charging tech for electric vehicles


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – As electric vehicles (EV) become more and more common, a group of Penn State students are working to create a cost effective option to charge them.

According to the International Energy Agency, more than 10 million electric cars were sold worldwide in 2022.

Penn State student Jonathan Smith is feeling that demand around Happy Valley.

“Only 5% of apartment complexes actually have electric vehicle charging stations,” Smith said. “I think for the ones here, downtown, they only have one or two charging stations.”

He said this could be the case because it takes a while to install or see a return on investment for EV charging stations. Smith said the average EV owner doesn’t have a private charging station at their disposal.

“Being in State College, it’s very evident that people want to buy EVs,” said Penn State student Shayaan Gandhi. “People want the next Tesla, the next Rivian, but they can’t unless they have a home where they can install their own charging station.”

Now, as the CEO of Streamline Charging LLC, Smith is leading a group of students from Penn State University Park and Berks. They are working on an accessible solution to the shortage.

“We’ve developed a frame that we mount on the wall in a parking garage that moves one charging station in between five parking spaces,” Smith said. “So this allows us to service more cars for a lot less installation costs.”

Streamline leaders said this would reduce installation costs by up to 60% and increase the availability of charging stations.

“We really want to get to bigger apartment complexes in cities,” Smith said. “We want to start in State College and really help out the community here but bigger cities like Philadelphia, D.C., they have an even bigger problem. We really hope to help there too.”

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The team has received recognition both nationally and locally. Streamline was one of six finalists chosen to compete for up to $30,000 at Invent Penn State`s annual Inc. U Competition.


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