Car Charged UK Ltd

Funding to enable final product development and proof of concept, leading to a significant increase in turnover, jobs and ongoing R&D.

Based in Nottinghamshire, Car Charged UK Ltd was established in 2019 when the Managing Director of an electrical contractor identified an increasing requirement for Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers and associated technology. The company therefore, began as a specialist supplier, installer and service provider of EV charging points for domestic, workplace and destination customers – whilst also providing associated consultancy.

Following a pause in its rapid initial growth due to Covid-19, Car Charged UK strengthened its EV charging offer, creating small public and commercial charging networks with full mobile application.  Recognising the potential for multiple technologies within the future EV charging market, alongside its commitment to research and development, the business subsequently started to develop additional specialisms relating to energy storage, solar carports, wireless EV charging and other EV charging equipment.

Why engage with Invest to Grow?

The development of Car Charged UK’s wireless EV charging expertise, and particularly its concept of Wireless Electrical Vehicle Charging (WEVC) stations, led to significant interest from various organisations and potential customers.  However, to access these opportunities the business needed to demonstrate proof of concept and provide a safety case study, which would incur significant costs.  To overcome this challenge, Car Charged UK approached the University of Derby and successfully obtained funding of £60k from Invest to Grow.  This was particularly critical given the challenges faced by the business when trying to access funding from other sources, given its relatively early stage and limited size at the time.

The funding was used towards the purchase of equipment, software and hardware which would enable the final development stages of the WEVC and allow it to achieve required accreditation.

What has been the impact of Invest to Grow?

The primary initial impact of the Invest to Grow funding was the ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of the WEVC stations via development of a full prototype, providing proof of concept of a unique product in the UK – and cementing Car Charged UK’s position as market leader.

Wireless Car Charging Point

Proof of the wireless technology’s effectiveness led to significant additional interest in the concept. A specific example of this was Car Charged UK obtaining a five-year framework agreement with Novuna Vehicle Solutions, which provides specialist vehicles to large organisations including Kier, DB Cargo, Network Rail and British Gas. The company’s Managing Director Lionel Mathia commented:

“The Novuna framework, and others we have also won partly as a result of the support from Invest to Grow, provides us with excellent sales and additional certainty over a five-year period. It has opened doors for us to many contracts and businesses that we would not have otherwise been able to access. This has really propelled us forward.”

Whilst the framework incorporates a wide range of services provided by Car Charged UK, a specific element of it relates to the wireless EV charging technology, with the business in the process of providing a demonstration unit to Novuna’s head office in Trowbridge.

The above framework, together with other frameworks and sales, has led to a significant increase in Car Charged UK’s turnover. Lionel Mathia commented:

“Before we engaged with Invest to Grow our turnover was just under £300k. In the current calendar year, we had already exceeded £800k by the end of October and expect to be well in excess of £1m by the end of the year. Within 18 months we are forecast to exceed £3m annual turnover. Without the Invest to Grow funding we would not be where we are now with the wireless concept, and our growth would have been a lot slower.”

The increased turnover has also supported the creation of additional jobs within the business, with nine FTE roles initially created as a result of the Invest to Grow funding – with this figure since having increased.

Moving forward, the WEVC charging stations have the potential to create positive social and environmental impacts by enabling a low-cost on-street solution to EV charging, whereby it is forecast that 8 million EV users in the UK will not have any off-street charging provision in 2030. Furthermore, the WEVC chargers have the potential to provide safer EV charging solutions within urban areas through removing the need for wires.

Car Charged UK is continuing to undertake research into the wireless charging technology and is working with organisations such as Amey and Network Rail to overcome challenges and develop bespoke solutions related to the charging of their EV fleets. Demand for its products is likely to increase further as car manufacturers increasingly incorporate wireless charging technology within their vehicles. Car Charged UK is also continuing to undertake research activity related to solar carports and battery storage.

Engagement with Invest to Grow also enabled Car Charged UK to develop enhanced links with the University of Derby, including the provision of an internship role for a student. The company’s Head of R&D Matteo Damiano commented:

“The Invest to Grow grant has really opened doors for us with universities, including the University of Derby itself. The University has helped us to identify further funding, including to provide an internship for one of its students. We are also involved in the University’s Productivity through Innovation and Innovate 4 Rail programmes.”

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