ZAPINAMO — HUBZ full of electric vehicle energy

Nick Rodgers, chairman of Productiv and non-executive Director of Zapinamo, discusses the launch of the new ZAPINAMO HUBZ electric vehicle charger.

It’s been an exciting year for Coventry-based electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure company, ZAPINAMO. As well as completing a high-profile project with UK transport giant Heathrow Airport, the company has launched the world’s first rapid charging system for electric vehicles — a fast, flexible unit that’s made exclusively for your home.

If you own an EV, you’ll already know that charging its battery at home is often slow and impractical. From a standard power supply, your battery will take at least 30-minutes to achieve a four-mile range. This is OK if you’re expecting to leave your car charging overnight — less so if you need to pop out for something at short notice.

HUBZ EV chargers from ZAPINAMO act as a ‘power booster’, enabling a normal 3 or 7kW power supply to deliver rapid charging. By charging from the HUBZ (as opposed to directly from the mains) you’ll get up to 50 miles of charge in 30 minutes — that’s a 1150% increase in charging capability.

The ZAPINAMO story

Electric vehicles have become a more realistic alternative to petrol-powered cars in recent years, but their roll-out has been impeded somewhat by a lack of rapid, comprehensive (and reliable) charging infrastructure, particularly outside of the city.

ZAPINAMO was founded to develop reliable battery-storage and EV-charging technology that’s easy and low-cost to install, but that also provides a larger amount of range in a shorter amount of time.

So what did they do differently?

While efficient, previous EV battery technologies have also been heavy, which has limited the size of the battery (and hence the amount of energy) that can be carried economically.

This means that many electric vehicles have a lower range than today’s fossil fuel powered alternatives, and therefore require more frequent recharging stops. This problem is compounded by the speed of recharging, which is limited by the capacity of the local electricity supply.

“ZAPINAMO technology is particularly exciting because it overcomes the barriers to mainstream adoption of EVs.”

Zapinamo overcomes this problem by storing energy at the recharging point to provide rapid recharging whenever it is needed, using its proprietary battery management, storage and recharging technology. Working in partnership with Productiv and academic experts Warwick Manufacturing Group, the company used its expertise in power electronics and battery storage to develop its first products for the EV charging market. These were recently trialled through an Innovate UK funded installation at Heathrow Airport, where the system is now successfully charging up to twenty electric taxis at a time.

Productiv’s ZAPINAMO partnership

Productiv first got involved with ZAPINAMO in late 2016, and since then we’ve seen it grow from the two founders to a team of 10. We’re proud to have supported the ZAPINAMO transition from a start-up to a commercial business by providing advice, consultancy, supply chain development and manufacturing capacity.

We’re particularly excited about the ZAPINAMO technology because it overcomes a significant barrier to mainstream adoption of electric vehicles. The use of fossil fuels in road vehicles has caused significant levels of air pollution, resulting in millions of premature deaths worldwide. Enabling mass electric vehicle adoption is crucial if the UK is to become a low-carbon society and prevent further damage to the air quality in our cities.

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