bring Electric Vehicles to the mass market by building the nation’s largest EV charging network while improving the planet and boosting the economy.
We believe there are two essential steps to achieving our goal:
- Removing a major barrier to EV ownership by making charging and cross-state travel as convenient and accessible as possible.
- Enabling widespread EV adoption by helping utility companies reduce the load on our electrical grid.
Over the last four years, ZEF has successfully worked with cities, utilities, non-profit, and for-profit partners to provide increased availability of reliable and cost-effective electric vehicle charging across the midwest.
Interested in reducing his impact on the environment and human health, ZEF Energy Founder and CEO Matthew Blackler began driving his first electric vehicle in 2014. But there was a problem: with no DC fast chargers available in Minnesota at the time, fully charging his EV took up to eight hours. Seeing an opportunity to help make EV ownership more accessible and utilize his background in clean technology, Matthew founded ZEF in 2014.
Within the first year, ZEF installed nearly 20 DC fast chargers and played a vital role in establishing a charging network that’s allowed thousands of Minnesota drivers to feel confident making the transition to EV. Partnerships with Nissan and Goodwill Easter-Seals Minnesota helped further expand the ZEF network, and in September of 2017 ZEF completed a fast-charging corridor from the Twin Cities to Duluth, MN–the first of its kind in all five surrounding states!
As mass EV adoption grew closer to reality, Matthew set his sights on a new goal: accommodating the increase in EV drivers by reducing strain on the electrical grid. Established in 2018, ZEF’s Smart Charging Program allows utility companies to run the grid efficiently by easily measuring and managing charger usage. With minimal infrastructure investment from utility companies and no disruption in service to customers, the Smart Charging Program keeps energy bills low and EV adoption high.
Looking to the future, Matthew and the ZEF team are continuing working towards their goal of making Minnesota and its surrounding states as easy to travel in EVs as they are in gas-powered vehicles.
MATTHEW BLACKLER | FOUNDER, CEO
Matthew founded ZEF Energy in 2014 with the desire to help make EV ownership more accessible and utilize his skills in clean technology solutions. Prior to ZEF, Matthew worked as a software engineer at The Crown Estate creating software that helped identify the best areas on the UK’s continental shelf for offshore wind farms, tidal and wave generation. He also served as a Solutions Architect for the UK’s Network Rail, where he developed an application that allows users to access a full 360 degree view of any Network railway at any time–essentially a Google Street View for trains. Matthew holds Master of Science degrees in both Advanced Information Systems and Geographic Information Science (GISc) from Birkbeck, University of London, and a post grad degree in Information Technology from Kingston University. He and his wife drive a Nissan Leaf and a Chevy Bolt.
JIM GOODMAN | CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Jim joined ZEF Energy as Corporate Development Manager in early 2017. Jim began his career in wind energy project development with an independent power producer in the Midwest. He’s worked in renewable energy for decades, taking on a wide variety of roles within large wind and solar projects across the US; including development, pre-construction, construction, owner's representation, engineering, and commercial due diligence. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
EWAN MIDDLETON | VP OF SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Ewan joined ZEF Energy as VP of Software Engineering in 2017. He’s an experienced software developer with a particular love for all things spatial and energy related. Prior to joining ZEF, he served as Lead Developer for The Crown Estate and GIS Developer for Esri (UK). Ewan holds a Master of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Leicester. Ewan and his family drive a Nissan Leaf.
DANIEL ENDERTON | SALES STRATEGY ADVISOR
Daniel joined ZEF Energy as Sales Strategy Advisor in 2017. He’s an experienced energy company executive and project developer who also runs A-Sharp Energy, a company providing software solutions to community solar developers and asset owners. Daniel previously served as VP of Business Development for C12 Energy, a project development firm in the CO2 enhanced oil recovery industry. He holds a PhD in Climate Physics from MIT and a BA in Physics and Math from the University of Minnesota Morris. Daniel drives a Nissan Leaf.
RALPH ROMANO | CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Ralph joined ZEF Energy as Finance Advisor in 2017. Ralph brings over 25 years of experience as a CFO in a variety of organizations in the manufacturing, service, and medical industries. Prior to joining ZEF, he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Officer at GeaCom, Inc., and as the CFO/COO for Dane Technologies. Ralph has experience overseeing the finance functions for a number of fast-growth organizations across China, England, Switzerland, and Brazil, among others. He received his Bachelors of Accounting from the University of Minnesota Duluth.