4 Irish SMEs receive €25,000 each to bring EV charging to apartment blocks

2 Apr 2015

Brian Motherway, CEO SEAI; Gary Martin, Smartcharge; Niall Doonan, Carra Group; John Walsh and John Brien, both from Electro Automation Limited; Pat O'Doherty, CEO ESB; Julie Sinnamon CEO EI andTheresa Keady, EC Charging. Image via Colm Mahady/Fennells

Four Irish SMEs have won the rights to develop technology to allow electric vehicles (EVs) to finally facilitate their charging within apartment blocks for the first time.

First discussed last July, the four companies in question – Carra, EC Charging, Electro Automation and Smartcharge Ltd – will each receive €25,000 to develop the foundation of their solution to one of the missing links within the EV infrastructure as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition.

If it proves to be a viable solution, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Enterprise Ireland (EI), who are providing the funding, will contribute a further €200,000 on a phased basis from feasibility to prototype demonstration.

Until now, EV drivers in Ireland living in apartment blocks with no access to a home charging unit in a shared car park have had to charge at their workplace or use a public charge point facility which limits the functionality of the car for someone living in the city centre, something which Siliconrepublic.com recently highlighted.

The SEAI say the solutions proposed will be adaptable to cater for underground, multi-storey or other privately run car park developments where EV owners may require access to charging facilities.

Commenting on the awarding of funding, Dr Brian Motherway, CEO of SEAI said, “As we accelerate towards a more sustainable energy future, we are continuously seeking innovative technologies which offer a better way of doing things.

“As well as supporting enterprise and innovation, this competition will help develop cleaner transport solutions for Ireland allowing us to make fuller use of our abundant renewable resources.“

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic