LOS ANGELES — Plug Zen, a minority-owned startup, is set to supply 10,000 of its Level 2 electric-vehicle chargers to Verizon for sale at stores nationwide — once it gets the necessary computer chips.
The Detroit-based company, which displayed its expandable charging units at the Los Angeles Auto Show, this week secured a contract to supply the wireless telecommunications company. Assembly of the chargers, however, may not start until the second quarter, because of the chip shortage, said company President Kwabena Johnson.
"We're a small company, a startup and [semiconductor suppliers] are going to prioritize their bigger clients," such as Ford Motor Co., where he used to work, and General Motors.
The key advantage of the Zen Station, which has two plugs and is projected to cost about $800, is that it can be easily expanded with additional units to power up to 10 vehicles at a time as EVs become more common, Johnson said, making it ideal for apartment buildings, workplaces and fleet operators.
The plugs can also be replaced with mats for wireless inductive charging, he said.