Amazon and Microsoft are backing battery-powered generator startup Moxion

Diesel generators are staples on construction sites, movie sets, or anywhere portable power is needed. But they’re dirty and emit carbon dioxide like any other fuel-powered engine.

While big heritage companies like Generac and Caterpillar are beginning to offer small battery-powered units in addition to their larger diesel generators, California-based startup Moxion Power is fully focused on this new power frontier. It builds powerful, portable energy storage technology that can be deployed virtually anywhere.

“We design, engineer and manufacture all the core technologies that we use. So we don’t buy someone else’s battery module. We actually manufacture battery modules in-house,” said Paul Huelskamp, ​​Moxion CEO.

According to Huelskamp, ​​diesel generators are notoriously difficult and expensive to maintain and burn diesel fuel very inefficiently.

“And that’s extremely wasteful and terrible for the environment,” he added.

According to Moxion’s model, customers can either buy or rent the units. For rentals, Moxion uses technology that alerts you when the batteries are dead so you can replace them without delay. They claim to know exactly the state of charge.

For companies looking to buy, the generators are competitively priced and potentially even cheaper because they require less maintenance than diesel models, Huelskamp says.

Amazon is investing in the company and is currently leasing Moxion units for two video productions, one film and one series. The generators will power cameras, base camps, lighting, hair and makeup tags, and other production equipment.

“One of the beauties of the Moxion unit is that it’s utterly silent and zero-emissions,” said Nick Ellis, director of the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund.

About half of the CO2 emissions from an average film come from the fuel used for power generators and transportation.

“It can be moved indoors for unique interior shots that we couldn’t do before, and they really allow our team to think about new ways of filming productions than we used to,” said Ellis.

“The other real benefit here is that you can connect these units really close to the set, you eliminate a lot of the wiring that is a trip hazard and a hazard for your production crews. And so these units suddenly sit right there, working quietly with them with no emissions and taking up a very small footprint on the production set.”

In addition to the Amazon Climate Pledge fund, Moxion’s supporters also include the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Enterprise Holdings, Energy Impact Partners, Tamarack Global and Sunbelt Rentals. Total funding to date: $110 million.

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