Electric vehicle charging company Easelink, a pioneer in the field of automated charging, has announced an €8.3m Series A funding round led by SET Ventures with participation of EnBW New Ventures, Smartworks, and existing investor Hermann Hauser.
Easelink provides a fully automated charging experience, avoiding the need to plug in an electric vehicle (EV) by hand. Its Matrix Charging system comprises an underbody vehicle unit and a charge pad installed on the parking space. The technology is compatible with most major EV platforms, and will be rolled out in a retrofit version as well as a factory-installed option for new cars. As the most cost-effective and energy-efficient solution available, it opens up automated charging not only for premium vehicles but also for the wider market.
“Alongside our strong automotive partners, we are happy to welcome our new investors who offer profound experience in EV charging infrastructure and the energy sector. This highlights Easelink’s ambition to set the global standard for automated charging,” said Hermann Stockinger, founder and CEO of Easelink.
The funds will be used to expand the Austrian company’s product team, build on collaborations within the automotive and infrastructure industries, and continue the company’s path towards a global automated charging standard. Matrix Charging is already being used by key partners in several pilot projects, such as the eTaxi Austria project targeting automated charging of taxi fleets in Vienna and Graz.
Although the round was led by SET Ventures, from an e-mobility perspective the investments from German energy giant EnBW and Austrian energy supplier Wien Energie stand out.
“Low touch operation is key in providing customer-oriented infrastructure. Matrix Charging is the fully automated charging system that will accelerate the shift to e-mobility. Easelink’s technology is best positioned to play a key role in the future. We are excited to take part in this innovation,” said Dr. Marc Umber, Investment Director at EnBW New Ventures.
The Easelink system itself consists of a charging pad on the ground. A connector, mounted on the underbody of the vehicle, lowers onto the charging pad, creating a physical conductive connection between the vehicle and the pad, which can either be placed on a parking space or embedded within it.
“Wien Energie’s successful collaboration with Easelink in the eTaxi Austria project convinced us to support Easelink with an investment,” added Andreas Straßer, Managing Director at Smartworks, the venture arm of Wiener Stadtwerke and Wien Energie.
“We believe that the electrification of urban traffic – especially of urban fleets – requires decentralized and barrier-free charging points in the public space.”
Last year, in the UK, a project testing the effectiveness of wireless EV charging kicked-off in Marlow, with Char.gy induction pads installed into the road surface for a new e-car club. Involving Char.gy, hiyacar, Milton Keynes Council, Buckinghamshire Council, the Open University, IPT Technology, and the London Borough of Redbridge, the trials began in Marlow, with a further nine trials to take pace around Buckinghamshire.
Elsewhere, Sprint Power also developed a series of wireless charging modules in preparation for a new UK government-backed trial in Nottingham that began in September last year. The project looks to demonstrate the suitability of wireless charging technology for a fleet of the UK’s key electrified taxis.