“Disclaimer: Hazel Henderson is an early investor in Envision Solar”
Driving on Sunshine: January 2018 Edition
Happy New Year!
2017 was a year of records and firsts for Envision Solar. We received the biggest single order in our history; we made record EV ARC™ shipments in a single month (December); we won our first major outdoor media contract; our EV ARC™ product survived and continued to work through a category five hurricane in the Caribbean when nothing else did and so on. Our new sales team started to hit their stride and, as a result, we start 2018 with record contracted backlog and the most active and growing pipeline we’ve ever had. In the 4th quarter, our operations team demonstrated that they can produce and ship product at a speed and efficiency we know we will need to hit our ambitious goals for 2018.
However, 2017 was not a year without challenges. We expected that of course. We are a growing company with unique products addressing new industries in new and unexpected (by the old guard) ways. We do things that many “experts” consider impossible and we have had to write the book on everything that we have done – we are still writing it. There was no existing playbook. But we are not alone. Our progress in many ways tracks that of the EV industry and one only has to look at Tesla’s production woes this past year to see that this process of doing things differently in new industries tests even the best-funded organizations. It’s no indication of lack of value.
One bittersweet pill in 2017 was that for the first time our sales exceeded our ability to produce product. Not in a practical or operational way but financially. We had a working capital shortfall during the first three quarters of 2017 and it showed in our low product shipments. We solved that problem at the beginning of the 4th quarter and that showed in our product shipments too – but in a good way (see above for record month). All of us here felt as though a millstone had been lifted from our shoulders and we were finally able to run. From my office window, I watched the trucks arrive every day with vital components and materials and I watched them leave at night loaded with EV ARC™ units destined for destinations near and far. We were finally doing what we always knew we could. It would have been so much better if we could have started to demonstrate our capabilities earlier in the year but the fact is we are magnificently set up to kick off 2018 without those sorts of headwinds.
I am full of energy and excitement for 2018 and the rest of the team here is too. We have never been in a better position going into a new year. Just spend a few minutes online looking at what is happening with EVs, Autonomous vehicles, inductive charging, micro-grids, energy security and outdoor media and you’ll see that having the fastest deployed, most scalable and most reliable product solution for those industries is a fantastic place to be. We already have some of the industry’s best customers because they know that. In 2018, we’ll continue to service them and all the new customers we are reaching daily. We haven’t even scratched the tip of the tip of the iceberg. It’s a great time to be doing what we are doing.
Thank you, as always, for your support and a very Happy New Year to you all.