Stonehaven energy firm develops ‘hidden’ electric vehicle charging points
A Stonehaven based-energy company has come up with a way of building almost invisible electric vehicle charging infrastructure – by sinking power points into the ground.
Trojan Energy has developed its pioneering ‘flat and flush’ network installation points dotted along kerbsides, with car owners inserting their own personal ‘lance’ connecting to the underground grid.
The company this week secured a late seed round investment of £2.2 million to roll out its ‘unique’ technology, which it says could be a gamechanger in terms of minimising the street clutter effect of standard EV charging posts.
The funding round was led by Scottish angel investors Equity Gap, and includes investment from Scottish Enterprise, SIS Ventures and Aberdeen-based angel investors Alba Equity.
With the UK target market alone worth well over £1 billion, the company will use the funding to improve its technology and applications by volume level manufacturing, rolling out charge points in more areas and growing its team.
Ian Mackenzie, CEO of Trojan Energy, said: “Trojan Energy was formed with one mission: to ensure everyone benefits from the energy transition. Currently, 10 million people in the UK who park on-street don’t have access to electric vehicle charging. That’s 10 million people that, without Trojan Energy, could be left behind by the energy transition. We specialise in EV charging without pavement clutter, and this investment allows us to commercialise further the technology and expand our business, creating more charging points on each street and making the technology accessible to more customers. We will create new jobs and move the UK towards net-zero at a fair price for all.”
Jan Robertson, interim director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “It is fantastic to see this innovative company developing the solution to a problem that might otherwise slow down the UK’s transition to clean energy. The company’s flat-and-flush design for on-street charging makes EVs a real option for many households without driveways. The fact that the company’s founders hail from the oil and gas industry and now are leading the way in the energy transition is a fantastic example of pivoting the nation’s skills in this new era of clean energy. Scottish Enterprise is excited to support the progress that Trojan Energy is expected to make in the coming months and years.”
Fraser Lusty of Scottish angel investors, Equity Gap, said: “This investment in Trojan Energy comes after an extremely successful year for the company, following our initial seed funding investment in 2020. The market potential for Trojan Energy is immense, and its technology is applicable worldwide. The technology is unique and, by enabling the team to further develop and refine its cutting-edge EV charging system, we expect to see Trojan Energy expand to other areas of the UK and rapidly gain market share.”
Trojan Energy’s vision is to make EV charging available to everyone, ensuring a fair price and efficient, convenient charging infrastructure. It aims to be the de facto on-street charging solution for EVs in the UK by the end of 2023.
Customers use a lance which connects their vehicle to a flat-and-flush charging point in the street, charging at the roadside. The design means the pavement is clear of clutter and fully accessible to other pavement users. The charging points are connected via underground ducts to cabinets, located discreetly up to 100m away, which can send power to 15 charging units at any one time. By taking the technology to the next stage, the company will decrease the size of the cabinets, reduce costs and offer a wider range of charging options to customers.
Based in Aberdeenshire in the North-East of Scotland, Trojan Energy has grown its workforce from its founding team of four just last year to a team of 12. It plans to increase the team to around 20 by creating new roles including engineering positions, project managers and customer service leads.
The company was launched in 2016 to create a system that offers an equal opportunity for EV drivers without a driveway to charge up their vehicles near home, without inconveniencing other pavement users. It aims to provide immediate, cheap, green energy at up to 22kW via charge points in hubs of 15, or single units powered by the home, to address the lack of EV charging infrastructure in the urban environment with cost effective systems.
Trojan Energy recently launched its technology on the streets of the London Borough of Brent and plans to install up to 150 charging points to be trialled by customers in Brent and in nearby Camden by late 2021.