In partnership with Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government has awarded a share of £180,000 to Comms365 to improve charge point accessibility across ChargePlace Scotland electric vehicle charging network.
Comms365 will now create a comprehensive solution to tackle the issue of bay hogging or ICEing – where a non-electric vehicle parks in an EV charging bay and blocks the ability to charge, by finding the appropriate wireless network infrastructure and IoT sensor technologies for deployment in EV bays. In addition, IoT and ChargePoint datasets can be processed to highlight and improve charge point accessibility, aiming to reduce charge point availability anxiety for the consumer.
This funding will enable Comms365 to develop and demonstrate its innovation in response to these challenges, with the intention to extend the project through prototypes and eventually field-testing.
Mike van Bunnens, Managing Director, Comms365 comments: “Comms365 is thrilled to have won this competition to develop a solution to overcome existing electric vehicle charging pain points and to greatly improve the user experience. We are grateful to the ChargePlace Scotland network and Scottish Enterprise for the opportunity to play an important role in refining EV accessibility, especially as Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom continue to make great strides to meet the 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target.”
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “It’s encouraging that industry is responding to the challenge of improving accessibility for EV drivers. I’m pleased that the Scottish Government is funding innovation, and making Scotland the place to develop EV engineering solutions with potentially global applications.
“As we transition to a net-zero economy, it’s clear to see there are opportunities for Scottish businesses. What I’m also keen to see realised is a net-zero future where no one is left out or forgotten about as we work to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
“I wish these companies well as they work to improve accessibility across the ChargePlace Scotland network and I’m optimistic that we’ll see some exciting innovation as a result.”
Scottish Enterprise head of low carbon transition Andy McDonald said: “It’s important that the infrastructure to support sustainable transport is as accessible as possible and these projects will drive forward innovative solutions to make that happen. I’m pleased Scottish Enterprise has been able to facilitate this through the Can Do Innovation Challenge programme in partnership with Transport Scotland. We have developed a number of initiatives around this area such as the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc as well as support for a sustainable mobility cluster to create economic opportunities and support Scotland’s net-zero targets.”
Keith Robertson, Lead for Roads, Infrastructure and Active Travel at the Mobility And Access Committee Scotland added: “As Scotland moves towards a net-zero carbon economy it is imperative that Scottish
Government take all members of society along with them and leaves no one behind on this transformational journey. Given that there are over 1 million disabled people in Scotland, around 25% of our population, MACS was pleased to be involved in assessing the accessibility of the designs submitted to the challenge fund. It is so very important that when moving towards alternative ways to travel and that, as a society, we ensure that the delivery of low carbon options is inclusive to everyone, immaterial of their abilities or level of income.
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