To facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, convenient on-street charging is high on the priority list. So, in a bid to help boost the UK’s charging infrastructure offering, an innovative product that is sunk into the sidewalk, then rises up when in use has been developed by Trojan Energy.
To kickstart the development of the street flat and flush EV charging point, the company has announced that it has secured £4.1m in funding.
The new product aims to help solve the issue of charging for vehicle owners without access to off-street parking, which is currently a major barrier for electric vehicle uptake, particularly in urban areas.
Trojan Energy estimates that 10 million people park on the street in the UK and 100 million in Europe. Switching to EV could potentially reduce European CO2 emissions by over 120 million tons per year.
To date, councils have been reluctant to install on-street charging points due to their cumbersome size and space requirements on pavements. However, Trojan Energy’s charging points are flat and flush to the pavement, removing the need to sacrifice pedestrian space. Users simply carry a charging ‘lance’ in their vehicles and plug the lance into the connector point to start charging.
Trojan Energy’s funding round comprises £1m investment led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap, profit with purpose investor SIS Ventures, Aberdeen-based investment syndicate Alba Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. SIS Ventures will also be helping the business to lock in its social mission of democratizing the transition to low carbon energy. The equity funding unlocks a further £3.1m from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Investment in the mission-led business enables Trojan Energy to advance testing and certification of the product, with the aim of installing the first 200 units in Brent and Camden Councils by early 2021. The company also plans to follow the roll-out of its on-street product with a similar driveway product for homeowners, eliminating the need for posts or wall boxes to charge at home.
While the UK remains Trojan Energy’s immediate focus, longer-term the business plans to export to Europe, India and China, aiming to capture a large part of the emerging global on-street charging market.
Ian Mackenzie, CEO, Trojan Energy said: “This is such an important milestone for Trojan Energy. Ever since we started this business, we have wanted to ensure that the benefits of the low carbon transition can be realized by everyone and not just those with a driveway. With this investment, our vision has moved a step closer. The rewards for our customers and our planet will be massive and prove the point that a big idea and great engineering can change the world.”