ESB Crowds Out SME From Charger Funding

13 May 2019 | 11.48 am

ESB Crowds Out SME From Charger Funding

Car Charger turns to Grenke for finance

13 May 2019 | 11.48 am

Electric Vehicles are still rare in Ireland but their adoption is accelerating. Total EV sales amounted to c. 1,200 last year and registrations for the first two months of 2019 zipped to 1,130.

Consumer confidence in the government’s vision of an electric transport future depends on availability of charging points. ESB operates 1,100 free charging points around the country, and SMEs are getting in the charging act too.

Car Charger, founded by Chris Kelly and Gerry Cash three years ago, supplies and installs EV charging points in homes and businesses. The company also operates EasyGo, a network of 130 charging points that motorists can use on a monthly bill-pay model.

Car Charger is now partnering with Australian supplier Tritium for a new, faster charger. Older AC chargers take between two and four hours to fully charge an EV, and the Tritium DC charger does the job in 45 minutes. Chris Kelly says his firm plans to install nearly 90 of these DC rapid chargers by the end of 2020, and the first Tritium install recently went live at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan.

EasyGo customers are charged between 16c and 35c per KWh, depending on the charge point location. Kelly says that he and co-founder Cash have bootstrapped their business since launch and have not secured any state supports. “We unsuccessfully applied for funding under the Climate Action Fund. State-owned ESB received €10m.”

Most of that taxpayer funding is earmarked for upgrading ESB’s existing charging network. “ESB is also going to bring in fees for its rapid chargers when they are installed. That’s why we felt we had to move now with our DC rapid chargers.”

Filed 2017 accounts for CarCharger EV Ltd point to minimal financial resources. Finance house Grenke has put its faith in the enterprising duo with an invoice finance facility.

Photo: EasyGo co-founder Chris Kelly with business minister Heather Humphreys

 

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