Laura Jones – Advancing the Energy Revolution

Regent Power LLC -Advancing the Energy Revolution | Laura Jones

Regent Power integrates advanced customized end-products for Smart Cities that reduce crime and improve quality of life.

Looking forward to the future of automobiles, electric vehicles are set to bring on an energy revolution.  What once was a luxury is now set to become the new normal.  The main reason behind this evolution is the rapid equalizing of the costs of gas vehicles and electric vehicles.

We are seeing big players like Cadillac, GM, VW, and Ford double down with luxury EVs, SUVs, and Trucks. We anticipate that 50% of new car sales will be electric by 2030. Mercedes-Benz’s ultra-efficient VISION EQXX electric car traveled 750 miles (1,200 km) on a single charge. There are also boutique manufacturers striving to develop niche designer EVs, while others are looking to cut costs to the bare minimum to establish a basic EV for the more frugal market.

While EVs are fun to drive, have impressive acceleration, and feel more exciting to drive than traditional ICE cars, it is easy to say it is a fad. The EV is more like an IoT or Smart Device that can detect and prevent accidents. Tesla, for example, has cameras on at all angles and can warn a driver of dangerous situations (and record them for future proof of conditions/violation).

Featuring for The Enterprise World’s this special edition of 5 Successful Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2022 is Laura Jones, a determined entrepreneur advancing the Electric Vehicle energy revolution. 

Laura – A Dynamic Leader-

Recognizing herself as an accidental entrepreneur, Laura is drawn to what is challenging, or even impossible.  The first company she owned was, in fact, by pure luck.  Here she was the sales and marketing director for a manufacturing company and created a reputation for selling large quantities of their newly-launched mini-CNC machinery to the industry giants like Motorola, GE Aircraft, Allison, etc. 

After just a few years of starting operations, the company directors decided that the multi-million-dollar investment was not viable.  Even after bringing in expert engineers to redesign a flaw in the equipment, the directors were fixated to cease and wind down the company in the December of 1998. 

Laura convinced the parent company directors to let her buy the company as an asset and liability purchase.  This included $500,000 of debt and ongoing expenses and payroll.  To this day, she can’t believe she was able to turn things around.  Grossing $7.5MM (and constrained by production), the company was sold in late 2001.  

With an arena of opportunities lying ahead of her, Laura was approached by a fellow member of her TEC (now known as Vistage) peer, advisory board.  He was the primary owner of a battery testing equipment company was facing bankruptcy and had fired most of his sales staff due to some unethical behavior.  He told Laura something to the effect of “Laura, I suspect if you can sell millions of dollars of CNC equipment, a tall blonde could certainly shake this industry up!”  It was an offer impossible to refuse.

“Similar situation, different industry, but my same recipe for sales and marketing worked wonders.”

As an integral part of the GM Volt Project team from 2008-2014, Laura saw the evolution of Electric Vehicles and the reality of EV charging and infrastructure challenges (and the enormous opportunities that go with it).  Battery testing equipment sales were skyrocketing.  The owner was able to sell for a generous price to a complementary company from Italy.  Laura stayed with the new owner for a while but was hungry to go back on her own.

“In 2015, it was time for me to go back on my own (with Regent Power, LLC) to follow my instinct and vision for the future of energy and the needs of evolving EVs.”

But the believers continue to drive forward through various obstacles, developing the infrastructure standards and taking some interesting turns. Entrepreneurial “value add” EV charging suppliers have added concepts to help accelerate charging stations to support the influx of the next generations of EVs. A few are Marketing kiosks at grocery store chargers showing deals of the day or pay-for-play ads. Others incorporate solar and battery to the systems, which decrease the cost of installation and operations (therefore, like the marketing kiosks, add value).

The Journey of Regent Power, LLC-

Regent Power integrates advanced customized end-products for Smart Cities that reduce crime and improve quality of life.  The team’s ability to integrate the best-in-class IoT solutions into many aspects of a Smart City ensures that whole neighborhoods are kept safe with various IoT designs, sophisticated LED street lighting, and security cameras.

Another unique solution the company offers is of electric vehicle (EV) charging.  Laura has been working with design teams to provide a host of solutions, especially in the DC Fast Charging field.  As most automakers are releasing electric cars with vast amounts of range (up to 500+ miles and climbing), the charging infrastructure is critical.  Standardization is needed.  Right now, Tesla is the leader in DC fast charging, but different charging stations have different charging speeds and the plugs are proprietary for Tesla owners.  

Designing systems for universal use is critical, and Laura is part of the Drive Electric Gateway Consortium and the Department of Energy Drive Electric Initiative.  She works with manufacturing partners who can provide DC fast charging at up to 500 kW, with renewable solar and wind energy, and battery storage to peak shave and more quickly charge.  

For a charge of say 300 miles, it can be done within 25 minutes.  Perfect for a lunch break or a quick shopping trip.  Add marketing kiosks and you have an instant revenue generator to increase the value and income of the assets.  

The initial challenges the company faced were that of capital and managing growth.  Due to the long sales cycle of EV equipment, and integration challenges in building a scalable infrastructure to reliably meet the incoming needs of electric vehicles, these initiatives are just beginning to gain traction. 

Again, Laura utilized her invaluable network in the energy field and used her skills in sales and marketing to create global recognition and substantial increases in sales revenue and gross profitability. 

DC Ultra-fast Electric Vehicle Charging

Newer electric vehicles are dependent on rapid, reliable charges.  DC Fast-Charging systems deliver widespread fast charging and is financially viable.  Yet, a lack of supporting infrastructure hinders the transition to sustainable transportation.  Current EV charging infrastructure is impractical and inefficient to install due to “get ready” requirements that can run up to $200 – $500,000 or more to install.  The aging electricity grids will also be put under tremendous strain as the anticipated numbers of EVs increase.  

Regent Power’s Solution- 

Regent Power’s DC fast chargers are not only safe, fast, and reliable. They are also more affordable than most any solution currently on the market because they require much less expensive “get ready” costs.  They can charge micro-grids of batteries to charge “off-peak” grid when electricity costs are more affordable allowing them to sidestep demand charges to recoup fixed costs for utility expenditures like power plants, power lines, and transformers enable customers to connect charge their EVs.

“What’s the secret?  Regent Power’s solution has a battery energy storage component that enables ultra-fast chargers to function at high rates and dispense 100% of energy all the time, ensuring more rapid charges.”

Ultimately, one can get EVs charged in 12-30 minutes (depending on range), not hours, and back onto the road in the shortest time possible.  Regent Power’s solution is entirely scalable, and as more advanced EV’s come into the marketplace, there is a greater chance for the company to scale the energy delivery beyond 500 kW with a simple firmware change.

Without energy storage capabilities, other chargers, when utilized under specific (especially peak) conditions, can be unprofitable, and charges lag when multiple cars are on the stations.

One group, The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR), has administered Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds, setting aside 15% of the total amount provided for installing EV charging stations in key locations. This will allow EV drivers a sense of security for long trips and mitigate the “range anxiety” that many uncertain EV purchasers may fear.

Another, Drive Electric USA, associated with the Department of Energy (DOE), was created to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. They are fully developing state-based “Drive Electric” programs that will engage individuals, utilities, legislators, dealerships, and others toward removing adoption barriers and accelerating plug-in electric vehicle use.

Solutions available for: 

Charging networks, utilities, and businesses wanting to become “green” and offer an EV charging service to employees and lure potential customers.

Perfect for:

* Home 220 charging

Ÿ Fast Food and Grocers

Ÿ Commercial sites

Ÿ Gas stations wanting to cater to electric cars

Ÿ Hotels

Ÿ Apartments / Condos

Ÿ Highway Access (Traditional gas stations or open land access)

Ÿ Municipalities

Ÿ Restaurants and coffee bars

Ÿ Retail centers and stores

Ÿ Parking Lots

Ÿ Utilities

Electric Vehicle Charging Opportunities 

There is currently a lack of sufficient Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) equipment along highway corridors nationwide to enable safe travel of electric vehicles throughout the state.  There are incentives from utility companies, government, and grants.  

Innovation is the Key to Growth-

“I find that I have always been one to resist the confinement of hard-and-fast black and white rules.”

Innovation comes without constraints.  Laura’s capabilities and leadership qualities have always made Laura score highly as a Maverick/Rainmaker on aptitude and strength assessments.  Maverick and Rainmakers are natural leaders, known to be task-oriented and persistent.  They thrive when given a goal and the freedom to determine how to achieve it.  Teams tend to be designed by default rather than intention.  A strategic, data-driven approach (utilizing a strength-based diverse group to build teams) always gives us an edge.

The Many Accolades of Laura-

Laura’s determination to advance the energy revolution has earned her notable recognition from peers across the energy and smart cities arena.  

“As an EV Ambassador, I encourage you to research misinformation about electric vehicles. Battery life, fires, etc., are statistically much lower than the same challenges with ICE vehicles. The acceleration and ride are like no other, and the benefits to the climate and air quality are tremendous. Considering the overall costs (apples to apples), you might find an EV is a viable and wise choice.”

With over 20 years in the energy arena, Laura has gained the broad market knowledge that comes with impressive sales and marketing strategies and built a network of influential connections with some of the field’s leading technologies and innovative companies.

In conjunction with industry partners, Regent power was recognized for the Enterprising Woman of 2109 Award, 2018 Top 10 Energy Storage Providers by CIO Insight, and 2018 recipient of the Smart 50 Awards, in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite.  They recognize global smart city projects annually, honoring the most innovative and influential work.  Navigant Research also recognized regent power as a 2017 Smart City Key Industry Player.

Laura Jones is the Founder and CEO of Regent Power, LLC as a project integrator serving the EV renewable energy and Smart Cities industries.  Adept at leveraging partnerships, alliances, sponsorships, and other collaborative ventures, she will utilize relationships she has developed in the industry’s corporate sector over the past eighteen years.

Laura sits on the Board for St. Louis Regional Clean Cities as Treasurer and part of the Drive Electric Gateway Consortium, the Department of Energy “Drive Electric Initiative.”   She is also a STEM Mentor & PR Advocate, Wesley House Board member, ten-year Vistage alum, and twenty-four-year Women Presidents’ Organization alum and chapter chair.  

Laura’s education includes graduate studies in business administration, human resource management, and creative writing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology and creative writing from Washington University in St. Louis.  She is currently enrolled in graduate studies at Harvard University Business School.  

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