What is Zef Energy?

Zef Energy was founded to respond to the lack of EV infrastructure in Minnesota. Here’s how it’s moving its home state into the future.
Written by Alex Reale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Before it became a matter of some urgency that
electric charging options
be made widely available, there were lone voices in the
wilderness crying out for more range. Whole companies have been born from these moments of frustration. 
One of these companies, Zef Energy, uses a combination of hardware and software to bring EV options to its native Minnesota. 
, the
car ownership super app
, takes a closer look.

The mother of invention

Zef Energy
, which was founded in 2014, was the brainchild of its founder and CEO Matthew Blackler. 
While driving his electric vehicle around Minnesota, Blackler discovered that his home state’s existing EV infrastructure was sorely lacking in fast chargers. To get his vehicle fully charged meant setting aside eight  hours—while Californians routinely powered up in 30 minutes. This was unacceptable.
Blackler founded Zef Energy to usher Minnesotans into a simpler electric future. The company’s first year brought major changes to the state’s charging ecosystem, with the installation of multiple DC chargers for electric vehicle owners to choose from.
By 2017, the firm had seeded the route from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Duluth with more of its fast chargers, ameliorating any fuel worries for Lake Superior enthusiasts. Blackler’s idea had grown roots.
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Zef Energy: Also a software company

As more Minnesotans picked out electric vehicles, new challenges arose. Zef Energy had been quick on the draw with its hardware, but another prong of the problem emerged: how would the existing electrical grid support this many new machines? The answer lay in software.
In 2017, Zef Energy debuted its “power management” software, called ZEFNET. This platform tracks the performance and production of chargers, which ensures that energy is distributed efficiently. A power management system helps keep “energy bills low and EV adoption high,” says Zef Energy. Individual EV owners benefit from this system financially, and the grid is (in theory) never overstressed, because it always has real-time data about charger usage. 
File ZEFNET in the pro column for buying an electric vehicle in Minnesota.

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