Partnerships with DTE, Stellantis Help Broaden Services, Customer Base
Detroit-based Vehya is a two-year-old marketplace, which offers services to businesses and individuals looking to adopt EV technology.
SBN Detroit interviewed founder and CEO William McCoy to find out more.
Q: What can you tell us about Vehya?
A: Vehya (pronounced and meaning “via”) is a marketplace for electrification. With everyone moving (or trying to move to) electrification quickly for a sustainable future, we know the project management – research, execution, installation, maintenance – portion can be challenging. So, we created a platform that makes that process easy.
Before, if a consumer or office wanted to get an easy charger, they would have to find an electrician, vet them, research products to find the best solution, schedule installation, etc. Vehya turns those steps into a turnkey process.
We sell electric vehicle chargers, solar, battery storage, and other resiliency products and have a network of certified service providers to install and service them.
Q: Are the end users consumers or businesses?
A: Both. In the beginning, we focused more on the commercial and quickly realized there was just as much of a need on the consumer side. The people we were working with on commercial projects were asking if we could do this for them at their homes, or for their clients so we created a consumer-facing platform as well.
Q: What needs do you believe Vehya solves?
A: People and businesses that are looking to transition to electric often do not have the time or resources for the research and logistics involved. So, we fill that gap.
Early adopters will jump in and figure it out, but for others – for the mainstream – they need help. We streamline the process to help both consumers and businesses electrify faster.
Q: Tell me about your new partnership with DTE.
A: DTE was looking to help their customers streamline the process of obtaining electric vehicle chargers both from a financial and logistical standpoint. They launched an RFP and ultimately chose Vehya for this partnership, which we are so happy to participate in. It’s a fantastic program because it opens the door for many more people to make the transition to EV who couldn’t without the financing DTE’s program offers.
Further, many homes need service panel upgrades to support EV charging and that is an additional cost, so the financing becomes even more important.
Customers can now come onto the platform, buy a charger and have it shipped to their home, identify an electrician to install it, and sign up for financing all in one place.
Through this program, we’ve had about 2,500 enter the platform chargers and have facilitated close to 400 installs in the three months since it launched.
Q: Tell me about the partnership with Stellantis
A: In March, we became a preferred partner for EV charger sales, installation, and maintenance for Stellantis’ U.S. auto dealers.
Our program includes Vehya-certified electricians, detailed site surveys, comprehensive estimates, and a dedicated account manager that handles all administrative and project management duties.
Q: How is the Vehya marketplace different than other platforms?
A: The fact that we offer products, service providers, and project management is different than other platforms. You can buy a charger on a marketplace like Amazon but then you have to figure out the installation.
We vet and certify our service providers as well.
Q: Tell me about that vetting and certification process.
A: Most of our electricians are certified by the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). We then certify them regarding experience and licensing. They must have the highest levels of insurance. And we do a background check.
Q: How do you think the work you do impacts Southeast Michigan businesses?
A: A lot of businesses want to electrify their fleets and company cars but don’t know where to start and don’t have the resources to do the research.
Workforce development and job creation are also important pieces to us. Vehya is the marketplace that connects consumers and businesses with highly qualified service providers. It connects these service providers to people raising their hands for help in turn creating and bolstering careers.
Q: What does the future look like for the company?
A: We are working to make our online processes even quicker and to scale our offering.
We are also working with underserviced communities to take advantage of EV transition opportunities as well.
Financing is key. An average install in the Detroit area is $2,300, because as I had mentioned, a service panel upgrade is typically needed. We are working with banks now to put together consumer packaging to spur adoption and make it easier for more people. Equity and inclusion have to be considered – we need everyone to be a part of this.
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