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30 Innovative Brands of the Year 2023

The energy and mobility infrastructure of the future: Paragon Mobility

“The era of distributed energy optimization infrastructure has come.”

Worldwide efforts are being made to hasten the transition away from utilizing fossil fuels for transportation in light of the threats posed by global warming. Investment in charging and energy infrastructure has significantly expanded as a result of how governments all over the world are attempting to accelerate the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EV).

Paragon Mobility developed the ‘Paragon Pod’ to make the deployment of high-quality EV charging and energy infrastructure faster and easier, anywhere in the world. The Pods are mobile, compact units that can be easily transported and installed at almost any site without construction works, and in areas with weak to no grid connection, thanks to embedded battery storage and energy management software. The stations can therefore be associated with seasonal or short-term uses as well as permanent needs where the ability to develop the infrastructure with the client over time is important. The fact that these Pods offer multiple fast and ultra-fast charging points—from 2 to over 10 per station— makes the product a flexible solution suitable for different client needs including both, light and heavy vehicle fleets.

The Pods are currently manufactured from recycled maritime containers and re-built to high-tech energy equipment. Paragon also offers design and branding options that make them unique urban furniture objects, and an effective tool for communicating on the energy transition. With the help of environmental monitoring the company provides useful information on CO2 savings and environmental impact of the infrastructure to the client.

What is the big difference between Paragon Mobility and conventional CPO’s (Charge Point Operators)?

In traditional approaches, the charging stations are sold to the client and installed after what is generally a lengthy and convoluted planning process, in particular for grid connections; maintenance and service are generally not handled properly. The customers will often then realize they needed a flexible technology and service because their needs will continue to change for a number of years until the transition is complete. Additionally, when charging stations are no longer required, it is very difficult and costly if not impossible to accommodate new needs because they are set in place, frozen in capacity. And it is difficult to transport and use them again in another area, for a shorter time, or on certain occasions.

“Service and flexibility are the two keys” says Jean Lemaire, founder and CEO of Paragon Mobility. “We focus on real execution, fast deployment, ease of upgrade and high service quality.” This is one of the reasons, Paragon’s solutions have been received with great interest and success. They have already been deployed in numerous industrial environments including for fleets of company vehicles, on prestigious events such as the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in Chamonix, for large car manufacturer events, for the Metropole of Nice Co╠éte d'Azur in one of its ski resorts, for the electric aviation project “Elektropostal” or on motorsport race tracks, for example recently on the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, in the South of France, home of the French Formula One Grand Prix for many years.

“The flexible nature of our product and positioning creates a large opportunity for customer-centric innovation as well as a growing need for it in today’s volatile world. Companies get in touch with us looking for a solution to their, sometimes very specific, problem. We work together to develop a version of our application that will help our clients to achieve their objective. In this way, we continue to gradually improve our products and services. We always wanted our technology and solutions to be pulled by real customer needs and not pushed top down and I believe we are getting there, and this is fantastic.”

Jean Lemaire said this in an interview with The Silicon Review.

Paragon is currently working to improve its digital strategy, as well as secure a significant round of investment, enter series manufacturing, and deploy its Pods across Europe and maybe globally. The company is rapidly expanding the scope of its strategy and the projects it pursues into energy management and optimization. There is a lot of unmet demand for creative solutions like what Paragon offers, which is undoubtedly a tremendous opportunity for the company. This is a particularly dynamic and interesting space as a result of the energy crisis.

Paragon Mobility was named among the Top 50 Most Promising European Startups in Mobility in 2022 as part of a competition run by the European Parliament and the Boston Consulting Group. This underlines the company's expertise in the deployment of sustainable infrastructure.

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Upholding a Tradition of Expertise and Innovation

“Our objective is to grow the company into a leading force in the market for distributed energy optimization infrastructure. This is the dawn of new era. Twenty years developing clean energy technology and sustainable energy infrastructure led me to believe this moment would come, that the conditions would all come together.”

Jean Lemaire started working on Paragon Mobility in early 2018 and was quickly joined by former colleague and friend Yann Cortot. Shortly after, Nadia Popova De Coninck and Stéphane Boudon, two friends and colleagues specialized in technology and energy financing joined the project. The founding team's greatest assets are their experience and in-depth understanding of the sustainable energy sector, its technological and financial drivers, the market synergies, and the actual challenges associated with implementing and developing energy technology at a large scale.

The CEO says, that he wishes Paragon to be recognized for delivering actionable and sensible innovations, “innovations which remove traditional barriers and make the massive scale up required in the energy transition possible”-, as well as for being focused on execution and a superior sense of customer service. "I would like the business and the team to be associated with in-depth expertise, experience and flexibility in the solutions we provide to our clients." Our mission is to deliver a new class of energy and charging infrastructure which will be a catalyst of the large-scale energy transition.

Jean Lemaire, CEO | In His Own Words

My career has been a fascinating blend of involvement in large and small organizations, French and Anglo-Americans, all-powerful and impactful. Career-wise I have always been guided and driven by the will to have an impact, create sense, and be a strong achiever. I chose early on in the early 2000s to work on sustainable and renewable energy and clean tech development at a time when not much existed in those fields. And I never went back. The early years in renewable energy were years of pioneering work and difficult as well because as always with innovations, we were challenging the status quo and the establishment. Now we have proven that these technologies could compete with or even be superior to established energy technologies. And the story has just begun.

As far as I can remember I became very quickly interested and motivated by exercising managerial duties and seeing and managing the bigger picture. In the first company I worked for a large international energy Fortune 500 player, I was appointed program manager for a 200 million Euro wind energy program at just 27 years old. I accessed executive roles at an age of just 30 when I was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the US subsidiary of a mid-size international independent energy producer. At 36, I became CEO of a European renewable energy platform business owned by one of the largest energy investment funds in the world. Although I reached a high-status position early on in my career, I went back to zero to start new businesses I believed in.

Being a CEO therefore turns out to be much more the result of my passion for achieving and creating things and being good at what I do than a carefully-managed career plan in a traditional organization.

“Our objective is to grow the company into a leading force in the market for distributed energy optimization infrastructure”