EV start-up gets $1.7m commercialisation funding

Photo of three EVOS founders
EVOS founders (L to R): Chief Technology Officer Chris Crossman; Chief Experience & Innovation Officer Seshan Weeratunga; and CEO and Chief Commercial Officer Marcelo Salgado

EVOS, a start-up specialising in fleet energy management and AC charging for electric vehicles (EVs), has completed a seed funding round and secured $1.7 million from Autostrada and a premium ASX 100 listed company. 

The investment will enable the company to commercialise its game-changing chargers and energy management software platform in Australia and export them to the world, with interest already expressed in EVOS’ offerings abroad.

Autostrada, based in Brisbane, has 30 years of manufacturing experience in the automotive sector in Australia, and it supplies major automotive manufacturers in Australia as well as many Australian utilities. The name of the second investor will not be disclosed at this time. 

EVOS is founded by CEO and chief commercial officer Marcelo Salgado, chief experience and innovation officer Seshan Weeratunga; and chief technology officer Chris Crossman. All three founders join with significant experience in the electric vehicle sector, all previously holding senior positions at Tritium, one of the world’s leading EV DC charging manufacturers based in Brisbane.

Salgado and Weeratunga each held executive roles at the company, while Crossman was one of the founding members of Tritium’s engineering team and most recently worked for Boeing.

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“We’re looking forward to using this investment to commercialise our products and deliver Australian businesses and the world an easy solution to their home and workplace charging needs,” Salgado said.

“Australia has an exceptional engineering and manufacturing track record, and electric vehicles and charging offers the nation an opportunity to continue that tradition in a new sector.

“Our investors feel the same way, and we can’t wait to take our solutions to homes and fleets across Australia and into overseas markets.”

The funding will also be used to hire a further nine engineers to the team to build out and fine-tune the company’s purpose built home and fleet chargers, and its ground-breaking software platform.

The EVOS Fleet Home 22 AC Charger and the dual charge equivalent, the EVOS Twin, are designed and engineered in Australia and built to meet the unique requirements of homes and fleets and be easily installable at homes across the country.

Vehicles are stationary for most of the time and AC charging allows businesses and fleets to utilise idle time at night (up to 10 hours) or during work hours to charge cars in the most economical way. The EVOS ecosystem manages the best time, speed and rate to charge vehicles, and reduces the cost of upgrading electrical infrastructure and demand on chargers.

“It’s designed to be simple to install and uninstall, so even employees could uninstall a charger in their garage,” Crossman said.

“It can withstand outdoor weather conditions, is IP65 rated and updates to the underlying software are delivered over the air (OTA) via Wi-Fi. But more than that, it’s safe and its reliable for homes and fleets alike.”

Each AC Charger will be manufactured in Brisbane through Circuit Solutions, which is the manufacturing arm of Autostrada, one of the two major investors in EVOS.

“Circuit Solutions’ manufacturing line is 100 per cent powered by solar,” Weeratunga said.

“As governments look to achieve net-zero targets, they should look towards EVs and ultimately EVOS to help them get there.”

EVOS’ patent-pending Smart Start system provides a simple way of managing charging of electric vehicles without the need for the use of RFID tags, smartphone apps or fuel cards. Designed with fleets in mind, Smart Start allows EVOS and its customers to collect rich data from the driver, car, charger and grid, thus providing a 360 view of the energy used in electric fleets. It can also automatically authenticate the vehicle, which delivers the following benefits:

  • Reduces cost by eliminating 3rd party software for authentication 
  • Only allows authorised cars to utilise the asset, thus protecting the network from outside access and preventing the public from charging at fleet-specific chargers
  • Allows roaming on EV charging networks 
  • Allocates details of the energy used to a connected vehicle account for user invoicing
  • It can be used as a payment system on other networks.

“We’ve had significant experience in this space and one of the biggest challenges we saw for everyday drivers and fleets alike is not only a lack of charging infrastructure in Australia, but the fact that using chargers can be overly complex,” said Weeratunga. “When a driver went to a charger, they might have to download a specific app simply to be invoiced. And from a fleet perspective the hassle and time it can take to manage multiple accounts for its fleet was a significant hindrance to EV rollouts.

“Our solution addresses those issues immediately. The additional benefit of our patent-pending Smart Start platform is that it can be used to manage the payments on other charging networks; it’s not tied solely to managing EVOS chargers.” 

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The NSW Government recently allocated $33m transition the government fleet to electric vehicles, while the Victorian government has pledged to inject 400 EVs into its fleet by 2023. The South Australian government is aiming to have its fleet fully electric by 2030, as is Tasmania

While the purchase of new vehicles will prove a boon for auto dealers across the state, the true benefit will be realised for the nation once those fleet vehicles are sold off and a re-sale market emerges. With that, adoption of EVs should accelerate exponentially, according to Salgado. 

“Once we have a true resale market, we’ll see the cost of an EV go down significantly for the everyday family, and with that we’ll need more purpose-built home chargers for those families to take advantage of one of the key benefits of owning an EV: charging at home,” he said.

“Government fleets are also set to see benefits but to truly realise the potential of an EV fleet, they need visibility into what their vehicles are doing, how they’re running and their energy consumption.

“This is why we were able to raise such a significant investment in our seed funding round; our investors have seen that there is an emerging market in Australia and our technology directly addresses the key hindrances holding it back.”