Vehicle charging company eVHub is working with private investor network Growthdeck to raise up to £3 million to help fund two flagship vehicle charging sites at Heathrow and King’s Cross.
eVHub’s charging hubs will house between 15 and 30 charging connectors that can recharge a vehicle in half an hour, as well as additional revenue-generating amenities like cafés and car valet services.
Growthdeck said there is a growing capacity gap for taxis, minicabs and private vehicles in London.
The company said there are now more than 20,000 electric vehicles on London’s roads, a number that is forecast to rise to 145,000 by 2025. There are currently 7,000 public charging connectors in the capital, according to figures from ZapMap.com.
eVHub has a funding target of £1.5m with a maximum target of £3m. Investors can make a minimum investment of £5,000 and for those injecting funds, the charging company is offering equity in the business.
Investment in eVHub qualifies for tax reliefs under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). EIS is an investment scheme which allows private investors to make tax savings by investing in growth businesses.
Gary Robins, head of business development at Growthdeck, said: “London and its people have made a significant commitment to electric vehicles, but the infrastructure available for charging is nowhere near where it will need to be in five years’ time.”
eVHub will initially focus on providing extra charging capacity to large fleets of EVs – primarily London’s fast-growing fleet of electric taxis. Following their introduction in January 2018, 3,000 fully-electric black cabs have entered service in London, with another 20,000 drivers set to switch to electric taxis in the coming years.
Growthdeck explains that a shortage of public charging points in London have led to waits of up to two hours for taxi drivers to start to recharge their vehicles.
The charging process itself then takes more than an hour, meaning drivers commonly spend more than three hours per day out of service.
The business plans to expand to 100 sites within the next five years, and has already identified 18 priority target sites in London for this expansion.
To drive this expansion, it will focus on building partnerships with businesses that have large parking areas, such as supermarkets.