Home EV charging solution for street parkers: Kerbo Charge gains 50,000 pounds funding on BBC TV Dragons Den UK

    Electric vehicles are on of the the hottest topics when it comes to electrifying transport. Three of the biggest barriers are “range anxiety”, “highway charger reliability anxiety” and for people who have to park on the street “where do I charge at night?”

    British startup Kerbo Charge think they’ve solved this issue. They have very little competition and are currently organising trials with 8 UK councils.

    Michael and Ben devised the idea for the Kerbo Charge channel after becoming frustrated with the lack of suitable charging options for EV owners without a driveway.

    Currently, these households might be illegally trailing an extension cable over the pavement which can create a tripping hazard, or they have to travel to a public DC fast charger which can be 5x to 10x more expensive and time-consuming.

    Instead EV owning residents can insert their charging cable into the Kerbo Charge channel and the self-closing lid snaps shut behind, eliminating the trip hazard.

    The channel is designed with dodgy pavements in mind and can flex with the pavement surface during installation, ensuring a flush finish without the need for surrounding pavement reinstatement works.

    Kerbo Charge customers can let other people use their charger and cable for a small fee.

    If the idea takes off in places like Inner West Council in Sydney, even if you can’t park outside your own house you could be able to park outside a nearby neighbours house and use their Kerbo Charge to top-up your car, without needing to drive to a DC fast charger and pay a lot more per kWh of electricity used.

    On 15th Feb 2024 Kerbo Charge co-founders Michael Goulden and Ben Whitaker went face to face with BBC TV Dragons Den investers in the hopes of receiving additional funding and support to expand their business internationally.

    They successfully won investment from sustainability angel investor, Deborah Meaden. The
    investment of 50,000 pounds will be used to help roll out their through-pavement EV charging channel product.

    Deborah Meaden commented on the show:

    “Local authorities [councils] have an impending massive problem that is going to cost a fortune…This is a very cost-effective way of dealing with this driving issue and there is a lot of cash around for solving these problems. You have a legislative drive, you have a lot of cash available. You’ve got a perfect storm”.

    Kerbo Charge is currently accepting requests from Australians who want to organise a trial in their local council area.

    In Australia the Electric Vehicle Council says they are:

    “Not favourably inclined towards solutions where the cable rests on the footpath with a cover over the top, or where a channel is cut in the footpath and the cable is routinely deployed and then put away by the homeowner”.

    “There will very likely be occasions where someone in a hurry fails to use those solutions correctly, and it’s easy to foresee that the result may well be an injury”.

    On the other hand Sarah Aubrey (Admin & Moderator of Electric Vehicles for Australia) says:

    “I don’t think a pop up charger is a viable solution. It would cost $6000+ and if you couldn’t get that parking spot you’d be beside yourself, plus that’s a lot of public charging money. Something like Gul-e or Kerbo Charge is far more affordable and if you didn’t get that spot you wouldn’t lose your mind”.

    “In areas like the inner suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane there will never be enough public chargers to service that many households. It’s just not feasible, we need to have a mix”.

    Read my article Possible Solutions: many Aussies who want an electric car can’t charge it at home to see the full views of the EVC and Sarah Aubrey for and against various options to enable easy EV charging for everyone.

    Neerav Bhatt
    Neerav Bhatt
    Thanks to his broad general knowledge, research skills and ability to explain complex issues Neerav Bhatt has appeared in the online, print, radio and TV media including: ABC (Online, TV, Radio), SBS (Online, Radio), BBC World Service (Radio), 10 News TV, Sky News TV, Australian IT, Technology Spectator, Ausdroid, iTnews, APCMAG, IDG CSO and a variety of other publications. In 2023 he joined the techAU team and represents them at Sydney events.

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