The firm has teamed up with Entrust Microgrid, based at the University of Lancaster, to develop a faster charging capability called EnSmartEV. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool electric vehicle charging specialist Franklin Energy has secured £1.7m of Department for Transport funding to improve charging technology.
The firm, which is the sole charging provider under the Innovate UK programme, has teamed up with Entrust Microgrid, based at the University of Lancaster, to develop a faster charging capability called EnSmartEV.
It is a bid to address concerns around the usability, cost, speed and accessibility of street charging points for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. In a deal with Halton Council, Franklin will trial the technology across two sites in the borough. Uniquely, the charging hubs will be able to charge any type of EV – with the ability to charge up to 6 EVs simultaneously.
Robert Byrne, managing director of Franklin Energy, said: “This is a groundbreaking scheme that addresses the very real issues surrounding EV charging in public spaces.
“In order to meet Government targets and roll out the drive towards EV ownership, we must have the infrastructure in place that meets the needs of modern life. This technology will provide highly efficient, incredibly low-cost charging.”
Many existing public EV chargers operate using peak power, burning excessive amounts of fossil fuels and are slow when compared to high speed chargers and are therefore considered inefficient.
“The new EnSmartEV system solution addresses each these issues, integrating lithium batteries able to charge EVs with off-peak or low tariff electricity offering premium, the chargers offers ultimate efficiency at rapid speeds.
Physically, the charging post has been developed under a subtle compact design, serving two electric vehicles with multiple uses, such as street/pavement lighting whilst indicating the status of the charger. The system will be modular and have the ability to charge up to 20kW enabling quicker charger.
Mr Byrne added: “This project will demonstrate what a huge difference efficient charging will have on existing EV drivers while encouraging others to make the shift to electric when weighing up options and viability.”