031: Alejandro Burgana (CEO, Brickell Energy)

Alejandro Burgana on Innovation City

“It took seven years to sell the first million electric cars here in the U.S. But at this rate of growth it will take only two more years to sell the second million.” — Alejandro Burgana

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Alejandro Burgana, President and CEO of Brickell Energy and Founder of OBE Power Networks. Alejandro is an entrepreneur working to build up the commercial electric vehicle charging infrastructure in South Florida. His aFLoat programs are helping propel adoption of EV charging across major corporations. You can find Brickell Energy on Facebook at @BrickellEnergy, and Alejandro on Twitter at @ABurgana.

They discuss:

  • Why Florida is the 4th-largest state for electric vehicles
  • Cord attachment rate; ratio of charging stations to electric vehicles
  • Alejandro’s love for cars, which started in early childhood
  • How his matchbox car and RC car collection lead to his first career in mechanical engineering
  • His passion for all-wheel drive
  • Remembering the debut of the original Tesla roadster, which came out less than 10 years ago
  • Driving the 2nd-generation Nissan Leaf
  • The falling price of electric vehicles
  • Norway, Germany, India, China and others banning gasoline-powered vehicles in the coming years
  • Greenhouse gases and the environmental benefits of electric vehicles
  • Building a new business model for electric vehicles
  • Teaching businesses about the value of charging stations but running into the sticking point of cost versus small target audience
  • aFLoat Programs: installing charging stations at various businesses at very low cost
  • Sharing profits with aFLoat clients
  • Why aFLoat charging stations are a perfect community solution
  • aFLoat programs notify owners and valets when vehicles are fully charged and need to be moved
  • The market for electric vehicles is growing 30-40% each year
  • The acceleration and power of an electric engine; a better driving experience
  • No regular maintenance for electric vehicles
  • The difference between gassing up and charging up: Charge while you’re parked, and never stopping at a gas station again
  • Meeting profitability targets and satisfying investors
  • The importance of ‘impact’ investors
  • The importance of working together with other charging companies
  • Charging stations are the new wifi
  • The importance of timing the market properly
  • Two satisfied customers: Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean