Onboard Dynamics announced today that the Bend-based startup has raised $3 million in additional funding. The capital comes from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E, Portland Seed Fund, NW Natural, utilities and investors.
The company is working to commercialize innovative compressed natural gas refueling solutions from technology licensed from OSU-Cascades and conceived by assistant professor Chris Hagen. Onboard Dynamics previously received an initial $3.6 million in funding in 2014.
“This additional funding commitment puts Onboard Dynamics on track to become a financially sustainable provider of affordable CNG refueling solutions. Over the next 18 months we will complete development, testing and market introduction of our first products,” Rita Hansen, Onboard Dynamic’s CEO, says in a news release.
Hansen on stage today as one of the finalists in TechFestNW’s pitch competition. Founded in 2013, the company has been developing a way for clean-burning CNG vehicles to conveniently refuel. With the startup’s technology it may be easy as connecting a vehicle, outfitted with an onboard CNG compressor, into an existing natural gas line, or using a standalone, mobile unit to compress the gas and then fueling up.
From the news release:
The lack of fueling stations nationally has inhibited the widespread adoption of CNG vehicles. There are only 1,600 CNG fueling stations nationwide, but 72 million customer natural gas sites. Onboard Dynamics’ technology uses the automotive engine’s own power to compress natural gas during the refueling process, which would open up the existing natural gas distribution system to CNG vehicles.
Jim Huston, managing director of the Portland Seed Fund, the first Onboard Dynamics investor, says the technology has transformative potential. “Not only would their technology make natural gas more economically feasible for fleet vehicles, but it would help reduce transportation-related air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions,” Huston says via the news release.
The company currently has six employees. The leadership team includes Hansen; Steve Westberg, CFO; and Jeff Witwer, VP and cofounder. Good luck at TFNW and congrats to all!