by Lena McEachern, Joules Marketing & Communications Intern '23
Tiya Gordon has never been much of a car person. Living in Brooklyn, she bikes everywhere in support of sustainable and livable cities.
It was not until she considered buying an electric vehicle that she realized cities have a major electric vehicle infrastructure problem. With no driveway or garage, the electric vehicle charging options for Tiya and millions of other city dwellers are slim.
“That’s when I really started to go into the weeds around how people who live in cities, who live in apartments, who live in multi-unit buildings, can drive electric,” she said. “The solutions that I saw that were out there were all inadequate.”
So, Tiya co-founded itselectric, a curbside electric vehicle charging solution built specifically for cities. Through itselectric, city property owners can install electric vehicle charging stations on their curbsides, earning passive income while city drivers get more convenient locations to charge their electric cars. As the only United States electric vehicle charging solution with a revenue share component, itselectric is a “win for everyone,” Tiya said.
“We’re a win for cities in that we allow them to hit their [decarbonization] targets. We’re a win for drivers in that we give them local and affordable charging solutions,” she said. “We’re a community-centered approach to EV charging, and we’re one that we think can change the way that cities engage with their communities to reach their sustainability goals.”
itselectric comes at a crucial time from a regulatory perspective, as New York and California have both mandated that no new gas-powered vehicles can be sold in either state beginning in 2035. While the world makes this once-in-a-lifetime shift from gas-powered to zero-emissions vehicles, Tiya sees a real opportunity to “help make a difference.”
Making this difference does not come without obstacles, as she must overcome the barriers inherent to being a female founder in a male dominated tech industry. In 2021, U.S. startups with all-female teams received 2.4% of venture capital funding, and in 2022, that number dropped to 1.9%.
“Hearing that was one thing, but then living it was an entirely different experience,” Tiya said. “We’re really grateful and fortunate to have incredible investors behind us now, and included in that are teams that are specifically built on supporting female-founded companies.”
With this support in hand, itselectric has continued to thrive as a pre-seed company. As a pre-seed company, itselectric has covered a lot of ground including participating in gener8tor’s inaugural climate accelerator, becoming a finalist in Hyundai’s EV Open Innovation Challenge, and receiving regulatory support from established startup advisor Pericles.
Moving forward, the sky is the limit for Tiya and itselectric, which currently has an open waitlist for both drivers and property owners. Up next for the team is their first Pilot with details to be announced next month. Joining Joules Accelerator’s Cohort 11 has been just another way for the startup to pursue success.
“We are really excited to open the door for showing the rest of the country what’s possible for simple and affordable curbside charging solutions,” Tiya said. “We’re excited to be able to use the expertise and the network of Joules to help us get not only the word out, but to get our product out in cities that are looking for solutions for their sustainable communities.”
To support itselectric, EV drivers, aspiring EV drivers, and property owners across the United States who are interested in bringing curbside electric vehicle charging to their neighborhoods can join the itselectric waitlist here.