Trojan Energy Ltd

Trojan Energy Ltd

Trojan was formed by former Oil and Gas industry engineering executives who wanted to accelerate the energy transition and make sure everyone benefits from it. It's the mission that drives everyone that's joined the company since. Our first solution is a futureproofed electric vehicle charging system for the residential on-street market that can take the form of a hub of 15 chargepoints powered directly from the local network, or a single point powered from domestic property. The chargepoints leaves no permanent street furniture being fitted flat and flush in the pavement, as close to the kerb as is allowed. They are accessed via a user's 'lance' - a robust post that they insert and which is locked in place while charging.

For the local authorities we serve, the challenges arising from the switch to EVs and the need for the associated public infrastructure are not insignificant. The biggest stem from EV infrastructure being an entirely new category of services with which to build familiarity and expertise: new outcomes such as extra electrical equipment in public spaces; new rules and regulations in planning, assets, and liabilities; new approaches to existing services such as parking and road maintenance; new constituent propositions and relationships; digital services in both the front and back offices; and a multitude of reports and strategies to consider. It’s not simply a case of getting enough resources – those teams need the right organisation structure and focus to be able build deep expertise over time.

One clear learning from the local authorities from across the U.K. that have led the way in this space is not so much the amount of resource, but the focus that resource can bring to bear. Success seems easier to achieve if even a small amount of resource, even a single officer in some cases, can spend a majority of time on EV infrastructure at the implementation level. Having a strategy formulated and communicated throughout the organisation is another strong pre-requisite.

Alongside resourcing, procurement itself is another area where there is no easy answer. There are no market participants that can cover the full range of what might be needed: Rapid Hubs, roadside/car park posts/wallboxes, depots, residential on street, driveways, multiple charging speeds, smart charging, V2X etc. A unified strategy that tries to address everything at once leads either to the headache of multiple concurrent procurements or the headache of fewer procurements trying to synchronise more diverse requirements across consortia. Either way, time is short with the 2030 deadline fast approaching and the strongest outcomes will require the strongest commitments - from the very top of the organisation, both executives and councillors. And if those commitments seem dauntingly big now, remember that the number of BEVs still has to increase between 50-100x to fill the final parc, depending on modal shift.

Even more bad news comes in the form of early-market solutions reaching their limits in the short term. Traffic Regulation Orders are becoming ever more politically and financially costly. Using them is an approach that can't keep pace with fast-accelerating EV uptake in our towns and cities, so thinking about how to deploy not just for current or even near-future demand, but the end game, has to start now. A roadmap focused on the horizon is a must – it’s much easier to work backwards from there than forwards from here.

Trojan is positioned to have expertise in the technical requirements around all forms of charging, as well as people with long-term market experience across the value chain including that all important strategic development and attraction of incentive funding. But we’re not alone in that and while we believe our solutions are very powerful in what they do, they cover but a small part of what’s needed. Co-operation between councils, other public stakeholders, and all the organisations bringing innovation, quality and commitment to the problem, is vital. We all need to contribute collegiate approaches to make sure those propositions that together cover all requirements reach those places where they’ll each work better than something else. When that happens, drivers will get the all the confidence they need to make the switch.

We appreciate the challenges within local authorities right now. COVID still looms large, and budgets are under pressure like never before. It’s so important to form partnerships well in advance of any sales activity that might ensue, so that the questions are worked over long before the answers are. It’s incumbent on the market to build capability in assisting councils in the actual job of work of getting the analysis done and then getting projects up and running. If the public resource requirement is kept to knowledge input, steering and approval, leaving the legwork to delivery partners, that might help the challenge feel a little less daunting. Trojan is proud to operate on this principle, building its own expertise to make it as easy as possible for our partners to focus on serving their constituents.

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