Suffolk-based EO Charging aims to drive the electric vehicle revolution
PUBLISHED: 15:36 02 August 2017
A young Suffolk entrepreneur has ambitious plans to help drive expansion in the electric vehicles sector with a range of hi-tech charging units.
Charlie Jardine, 25, set up EO Charging on his grandfather’s farm at Creeting St Peter, near Needham Market, in 2015 and is on target to generate sales of £1m this year.
EO Charging designs and assembles its own charging units, with around 90% of the components sourced from other companies in Suffolk, and currently employs 10 people on the farm site out of a total workforce of 15.
This total is expected to increase to around 30 in the next 12 months, with the company planning to double its volumes year-on-year for the next five years, including a target of 10,000 units next year.
To underpin this growth, the business is currently seeking a substantial injection of equity funding to support the creation of a sales and marketing team and further investment in software and hardware.
Charlie, whose own background is in sales, previously worked for another charging point manufacturer but saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the UK’s charging infrastructure.
He says that, although EO Charging produces units for both home and business use, its products score particularly over those of its rivals with fleet operators.
Its system is modular and so easily scalable and the units, while simple to use, are also “smart-ready” so that they can be used for power monitoring and management as the growing use of electric vehicles places greater demands on networks.
Equipment made by EO Charging is already being sold and installed by around 50 companies in the UK, ranging from general electricians to electric vehicle specialists, and it has distributors in countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.
Organisations supplied by the company have included online ride hailing service Uber and private hire company Addison Lee.
“The UK currently faces a challenge to prepare for the new automotive revolution with electric vehicles (EVs) set to overtake petrol and diesel ones from 2030-40,” says Charlie. “Whilst the Government has pledged to invest £290m into improving the UK’s ultra-low emission strategy we’re fully aware that more development is required to meet the demand for EVs.”
He added: “We started the business simply making plugs for electric cars but we’ve always had ambitions to play a big part in the energy revolution. It’s our mission to help people become energy independent and electric car charging is just one piece of the puzzle.
“We’re currently developing smart energy technologies to help our customers reduce their dependency on the grid and become more sustainable.”
The total number of EVs (including plug-in hybrids) on the road in the UK currently stands at just over 100,000 and 4.2% of all new cars sold in the UK in January 2017 were plug-in electric. This compares with Norway where more than 40% of new car sales are now electric or plug-in hybrid.