The electric vehicle charger designed in the inventor's grandfather's barn in Suffolk gets £13m funding
PUBLISHED: 13:39 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 26 September 2018
‘We’re currently witnessing a revolution in the automotive industry’ - and this Suffolk entrepreneur is in the driving seat
EO Charging, one of the UK’s leading electric vehicle (EV) charging manufacturers, has secured £13m funding from London-based infrastructure investor Zouk Capital, also investors in rapid EV charging business InstaVolt.
To date, EO Charging has manufactured over 5,000 charging stations at its new headquarters in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
The business currently sells its products in 25 countries around the world and is expecting to grow rapidly over the next three years in-line with the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
The company’s 27 year-old chief executive, Charlie Jardine, says when he first founded EO Charging in 2015, people were still sceptical of electric vehicles - “even my own father.” “Fast forward three years and not only is demand outstripping supply for electric cars but my Dad is driving a Tesla, and he’s obsessed!
“We’re currently witnessing a revolution in the automotive industry, one that’s akin to when the combustion engine took over from the horse and cart. EV chargers are more than ‘just a plug’ they’re the gateway to the future of mobility and the first piece of the puzzle in giving people energy autonomy.”
EO designs and manufactures EV charging stations for homes, fleets and destinations.
Having previously worked at another UK-based charger manufacturer, Mr Jardine was frustrated by the unreliability of existing charging infrastructure and setup EO with a pledge to make simple and reliable EV chargers.
After 12 months of development in a barn on his grandfather’s farm in Suffolk, EO’s first EV charger was produced.
Within months the company secured numerous orders and is currently working with Uber, Addison Lee, Google, Toyota Portugal, Hampshire Police and many others to support their electrification plans.
Mr Jardine aims for his company to become the number one electric vehicle charging manufacturer, for homes and workplaces, globally by 2025.
“We’re a small company with big ambitions and want to become the number one electric vehicle charging manufacturer, for homes, workplaces and fleets, globally by 2025. This investment will catapult EO into an exciting phase of growth and help us shake-up the rapidly growing EV charging industry.”
EO has developed a range of industry leading EV chargers including the EO Genius, a smart enabled charge-point that can connect to the EO Hub and communicate with the grid and be managed by the host.
Currently the most cost effective and scalable charging solution for fleets, the EO Genius is used by a number of companies including Gnewt Cargo - operators of London’s largest fully electric final-mile delivery fleet.
The £13m investment from Zouk will be used initially to increase the team and continue investing in product development.
The remaining funds are reserved to roll out a “Charging as a Service” model with the EO product range. Under this model, hosts will be able to offer their visitors charging infrastructure with £0 upfront cost and have the ability to manage the chargers for their clientele.
Colin Campbell, Partner at Zouk Capital, said: “We consider EO Charging to be the most exciting young company in the AC charging space with a unique range of high quality yet competitively priced solutions, software and hardware for commercial and private buyers. This marks Zouk’s third investment in the EV charging market – in both rapid and slow charging models that we believe complement each other across the whole EV charging ecosystem. We have tracked EO for over a year and we believe that Zouk will help unlock the huge opportunity ahead for the company operating in an important part of the EV charging market.”
EO Charging is currently one year in to a Low Emission Freight Trial with electric final mile delivery firm Gnewt Cargo. The project is funded by Innovate UK, Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and supported by the Mayor of London and Transport for London. EO is also part of ‘V2GO’ an Innovate UK funded consortium of eight organisations (including EDF Energy R&D UK, Oxford University, Oxfordshire County Council) to develop and trial ‘Vehicle-to-Grid’ charging on a large scale.