First published on the Cleantech Investor website, July 2012
EV Innovations pitches at the Cleantech Investor Future Transport Challenge during the Investing in Future Transport conference in City Hall, London, on 16 August 2012
EV Innovations is an electric vehicle (EV) design and development consultancy with significant experience of EVs. In addition to the design, development and manufacture of EVs, the Pembrokeshire-based company also pioneers new EV technology. Customers include vehicle manufacturers and corporations with large fleets. EV Innovations has a small factory in South Wales where it builds prototypes and low volume production runs.
CEO Michael Boxwell has a background in technology and systems design, and is the author of numerous technology books, including The 2012 Electric Car Guide, published by Greenstream Publishing. He previously ran one of the UK’s most successful EV retailers - E-Bike Shop Ltd - which he sold in 2005 in order to focus on other transport and logistics projects. Michael has used an electric car for family transport since 2006 (he was an early G-Wiz owner) and runs one of the largest electric car owners' clubs in the world. His introduction to EVs came at the age of 12, when his father considered purchasing a milk float to make deliveries. Michael is a regular contributor to radio and television programmes discussing EVs.
Other variants of the Bluebird City are planned, including an articulated 18 tonne heavy goods vehicle with a choice of either 200 or 400 mile range. The Bluebird City will achieve European Whole Vehicle Type Approval during 2013, which will facilitate volume sales across Europe.
Other vehicles in the design stage include the One World EV, a range of small EVs designed to be produced in flat-pack form so they can be shipped across the world for assembly using hand tools and local labour. Planned vehicles include light vans, a leisure vehicle and a four seat hatchback, all of which could retail from under £10,000. Interest in the One World range has come from Turkey, Bhutan, India, China, South Africa, Mexico and the US. EV Innovations is also working on the design of the Cargo Trike, a pedal-powered electric cargo cycle for inner city deliveries. A small van style vehicle with a 150 kilo carrying capacity, the Cargo Trike can be ridden on cycle paths and does not require tax or registering for road use.
We are all familiar with stories of distribution companies attempting to organise delivery schedules and routes around the battery charging schedules of their EVs. EV Innovations has addressed this issue by developing ‘hot-swap’ batteries which allow vehicles to be refuelled in less than four minutes. This is a unique selling point which goes a long way to convince a sceptical corporation of the benefit of switching to an electric fleet.
EV Innovations has a joint venture with Chinese EV manufacturer, Eagle Electric Vehicles. Although China has a high acceptance rate of EVs, there are a limited number of electric trucks on the market and thus a clear opportunity to sell the Bluebird City. The partnership will provide access to Asian markets and there are plans to open a sales office in Shanghai.
Development of the Bluebird City has cost £2.5 million, and EV Innovations has received additional funding of £112,000 from directors and founders over the past twelve months as it has geared up to commence production. Management is looking to raise a further £500,000, which would enable the company to optimise the sales and distribution of the Bluebird City and fast-track the development of new products.
EV Innovations is filling a gap in the EV market by providing companies with vehicles which are cost effective and work for their needs. Growth prospects are good, and management projects that pre-tax profits could reach £1.2 million in 2013 and £7.4 million in 2014 based on annual turnover of £22.4 million.