POD Point aims to expand vital charging infrastructure for EVs
Electric vehicle charge point supplier, POD Point, has launched a new found of crowdfunding – to the value of £1.5 million – which is part of a large £9 million fundraise led by Venture Capitalist Draper Esprit. The funding round sees Draper investing £3 million for new shares and £2 million for secondaries alongside Barclays Capital who are providing £2 million of venture debt and £550,000 additional equity investment has been secured from angel investors. POD Point has made £1.55 million worth shares available to the public through Equity Crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
POD Point is already a well-established, leading player in this country’s EV sector, having manufactured and sold over 27,000 charging points since it was founded in 2009. This new investment is intended to fund the next stage of business growth, directly creating 50 new jobs in the UK, and helping to lay down the bedrock EV charging infrastructure to fuel the expansion of the market both here and in Europe. POD Point’s mission is to have one of its stations installed everywhere people park for an hour or more.
Erik Fairbairn, CEO, POD Point said: “The way people use cars is changing and how they are powered is at the epicentre of that. Travel shouldn’t damage the earth, which is why we are building the most advanced intelligent charging network in the UK, the POD Point Open Charge Network.”
Simon Cook, CEO of Draper Esprit, added: “POD point is leading the charge in the EV infrastructure market in the UK and Europe. We not only think that the EV market will develop at pace over the next decade, but that POD point is set to play a significant role in enabling adoption. We are proud to be backing a company who are committed to creating cleaner cities and mitigating climate change.”
Read the January 2017 issue of Energy Digital magazine
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.