UK-based Carroll & Meynell Transformers Ltd has successfully accessed an EU Horizon 2020 grant to support a feasibility study and develop a prototype of a multicharger for electric vehicles, which can charge different brands of vehicles simultaneously.
Current charging stations only support a single charge at one time, so only one vehicle can plug into the charge station at any time. The new charging station is capable of charging multiple vehicles at the same time from one unit containing a single transformer.
Carroll & Meynell commercial manager Peter McGurr said: "Currently, if you pull in to an EV charging station, there is no guarantee of a suitable charging point being available.
"Whilst some manufacturers offer multi-vehicle charge points, all models investigated were found to be cosmetic combinations of plural charging points, [meaning] only one vehicle can be charged at a time. No instances were found where you could charge for example a Tesla, a Toyota and a Nissan simultaneously.
"Moreover, this does not look likely to change rapidly, since car manufacturers are not working together on a common approach to fast charging.
"This situation is similar to that experienced by mobile phone users when trying to borrow someone else’s charger. Our product will be capable of providing re-charge simultaneously to multiple vehicles of potentially different designs and with different charging requirements."
The company, which employs 120 people, has been operating for more than 40 years and is still run by managing director Mike Meynell.
"We are immensely proud to have received this grant," he said. "From more than 2,600 applications across Europe, only 185 bids have been successful, and we believe we are the only one in the North East, for which we have to express our thanks to Pera Technology, who successfully guided us through the application process.
"This is an exciting development for Carroll & Meynell and the support from Horizon 2020 will be instrumental in driving our future growth."