Aberdeen-based green-tech start-up, Trojan Energy, has secured £4.1 million in funding to support the roll-out of its on-street ‘flat and flush’ electric vehicle (EV) charging points.
The firm hopes to 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.
The cumbersome size and space requirements of charging points have so far caused councils to be reluctant to install them. However, Trojan said its charging points take up less room and removes the need to sacrifice pedestrian space.
An electric car owner will carry a charging ‘lance’ in their vehicles which is plugged into the connector point to begin charging.
The company’s funding round comprises £1 million investment led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap, SIS Ventures, Aberdeen-based investment syndicate Alba Equity and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
SIS Ventures will also help the business to lock in its social mission of democratising the transition to low carbon energy. The equity funding unlocks a further £3.1 million from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Ian Mackenzie, CEO at Trojan Energy, commented: “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 realised 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.”
Trojan is aiming to install the first 200 units in Brent and Camden Councils by early 2021. The company also says it 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.
Fraser Lusty, director at Equity Gap, said: “We are pleased to back Trojan Energy and its strong Scottish team who have brought their expertise from the Oil & Gas sector to partner with industry, energy suppliers and councils to help accelerate the adoption of EV usage in dense urban areas where the technology is needed most.
“Their technology is pivotal to the greater adoption of EV’s, the future decarbonising of our transport infrastructure and central to the UK government’s target for net-zero emissions.”
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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.
Rob Halliday, fund manager, SIS Ventures said: “SIS Ventures believes that in the wake of Covid-19 there is an opportunity for Scotland to re-build an impact economy.
“As Scotland’s leading impact investor, we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this innovative mission-led business in its ambition to deliver growth and impact at scale. Trojan Energy is the step change urban EV charging desperately needs.”
John Duncan, Alba Equity said “We are delighted to bring together local investors to support the team at Trojan Energy.
“Our members were attracted by the strength of the team and the innovative nature of their technology and we believe that the business has the potential to play a significant role in increasing EV usage, which will benefit all through lower emissions.”
Trojan’s funding comes after UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently confirmed a £12 million funding boost to electric vehicles as the government announced plans for a ‘green economic recovery’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funding will see £10 million put toward a new Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Competition.
Trojan 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 tonnes per year.