The electricity system matches supply to demand on a real-time basis. Historically, this has been managed by turning fossil fuel plants up and down to meet demand. As intermittent wind and solar take over, society needs to find ways to use more energy when it’s cheap and green, and less when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
EVs and other home energy devices like heat pumps and batteries are inherently flexible: the typical EV is plugged in for 10 hours a day, but only charges for two of those hours. But challenges connecting these devices to electricity markets, which have been designed for fossil fuel plants, mean that the vast majority of this flexibility is untapped. The collective flexibility potential from EVs on the road today could replace the UK’s largest gas power plant. By 2030, EVs will have the capacity equivalent to every gas power plant.
Is in this scenario that Axle Energy, an energy flexibility startup that connects EVs and home energy devices to electricity markets, has raised a €1.5 million pre-Seed financing round led by Picus Capital with participation from Eka Ventures.
Founded in 2023, Axle acts as the ‘virtual wires’ connecting home energy devices to electricity markets. By optimizing the combined flexibility of many home energy devices, Axle’s software dynamically provides flexibility to the electricity grid and shifts energy usage to when it’s cheapest and greenest. Axle seamlessly integrates with OEMs and energy suppliers, enabling these businesses to lower their residential customers’ energy bills by over 25% while increasing the capacity of the grid to transition towards a renewable future. At the same time, Axle’s API enables energy suppliers and hardware manufacturers to monetize the flexibility of home energy devices, lowering costs and emissions while improving grid stability.
“The energy crisis has exposed the climate, cost, and dependency risks stemming from our dependence on fossil fuels,” says Axle co-founder Karl Bach. “The time to decarbonise is now, and that requires a connected, dynamic, flexible grid, not the monolith we have today.”
“Karl and Archy bring the experience and vision to build the electricity system we need for the 21st century,” said Sebastian Schäfer, Partner at Picus Capital. “By building a Stripe for energy, Axle is accelerating energy flexibility and decarbonisation, saving households on their bills, and creating long-term value for actors across the energy ecosystem.”
Axle was founded in early 2023 by Karl Bach and Archy de Berker, who bring energy experience and AI expertise from the likes of Bulb, M-KOPA, CarbonChain, Habitat Energy, Origami Energy, and Element AI.