Jeremy McCool, founder and CEO, HEVO Inc.

He envisioned cordless charging for electric vehicles–and he's making it happen

Says McCool: “You have to look at any kind of conditions as, ‘If I’m not going to do it, who else?'” (Photo courtesy of HEVO Power)

Jeremy McCool, the founder and CEO of Brooklyn-based HEVO Inc., has always been a tinkerer and an entrepreneur, from mowing lawns at age nine to his current role as chief of a tech company with global ambitions. HEVO, which stands for Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Optimization, is developing a wireless charging standard for electric vehicles. That’s right, no cords or plugs–a feature that could hasten the electric-vehicle revolution.

The venture started in 2011 “with $850 and nothing more than a vision,” McCool tells us in our podcast. But the idea was a powerful one: imagine being able to recharge your car by simply parking over a power station on the ground, which would send power to your car via a resonance charging system. HEVO technology includes an app that provides communication between the hardware components and the user. To get from idea to reality, McCool has had several collaborations with engineering schools and incubators, including NYU Tandon School of Engineering and NYU’s Urban Future Lab. “When I found that electric vehicles could be real,” McCool explains, “it was the single moment that defined the next ten years of my life.”

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After graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma, where he played on the school’s football team, McCool joined the U.S. Army. He rose to the rank of captain and served as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq, where internal combat over energy supplies was taking a tragic toll. When he left the military, he entered graduate school at Columbia University, earning a master’s degree in urban policy. Inspired by his war experience, he focused on energy sustainability and founded HEVO in his final year at school. The first years of the business were “rough and tumble” at times, McCool recalls, but he credits the challenging experiences of his earlier life with giving him an intrepid approach to his business. “You have to look at any kind of conditions as, ‘If I’m not going to do it, who else?'”

Last year, the company moved to its own facility on Commerce Street in Red Hook and has offices in London and Amsterdam, as well as pilot projects across the U.S. and Europe.  On top of running his business, McCool teaches clean-energy entrepreneurship at NYU and is a founding member of the Veteran Business Affairs Council at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. –Kora Feder