18 Jun 2018

Lamppost EV charging points brought to market

Lampposts could be the answer to electric vehicle charging, thanks to help from researchers at WMG, University of Warwick in bringing a new brand of charging points to market – some of which are powering electric vehicles on the University campus.

Startup company char.gy created a new electric vehicle charging point product – which can be easily installed onto existing lampposts, resulting in no requirement to add another power supply or dig up the road or pathway – but it required a bespoke electronic circuit board in order for it to meet to EU standards for public charge points.

The SME support team at WMG helped char.gy rapidly design, build and test a prototype of the new electronics board in order to achieve the certification deadlines. Because of this, char.gy was able to complete the product to time, and send it for testing – eventually making the charge points ready for public use.

The University of Warwick not only supported the development of char.gy, but has also purchased “char.gys” to charge electric vehicles across the campus – including the University Estates Team’s new fleet of battery-powered Nissan vans.

Dr David Norman, Electronics Engineer from the SME Group at WMG, commented: “I worked closely with the char.gy team to develop the final electronic circuits needed for completion of the product. I continued with remote support of the product certification and EMC testing which rounded of my help. It was a really interesting and exciting project to be work on and I am very proud of what has been achieved”

Richard Stobart, CEO of char.gy, added: “We want to make it possible for anyone to own an EV – particularly those without off-street parking. char.gy’s mission is to make EV charging as simple as possible for drivers. Thanks to WMG for a fantastic service. They understood what we needed and turned around a turnkey solution very quickly that cut our manufacturing costs and allowed us to get into the certification schedule early. I highly recommend them to startups struggling with difficult engineering challenges.”

Through cutting-edge research and an evolving campus infrastructure, the University of Warwick is committed to accelerating the future of energy-efficient electric vehicles, and supporting the growing number of people who use them.

The University of Warwick campus currently has four char.gy points – as well as numerous other electric vehicle charging points - and will purchase more in the near future.

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