Levistor’s energy storage system will avoid EV deserts, especially in rural areas, by making EV charging as quick and easy as filling-up
Crowdfund campaign via the Crowdcube platform exceeds target within first week
A low cost, durable energy storage technology, developed by City, University of London, will accelerate the roll-out of ultra-rapid EV charging across the UK, putting an end to range anxiety among EV drivers and so encourage more motorists to buy EVs earlier than being currently forecast. By providing a boost to the electricity grid, Levistor’s patented technology will give EV drivers 100 miles of charge in just 5 minutes, making EV charging as quick and as easy as filling-up. It will reduce the risk of having EV deserts in the UK and help build consumer trust in using EVs to make longer journeys.
Whilst the number of rapid and ultra-rapid chargepoints in the UK (and the continent) is slowly starting to increase, these are mainly confined to motorway service areas (MSAs). These chargepoints require large amounts of power, often needing costly upgrades to the grid that take time to carry out (see Notes to Editors). As such, the prospect of a nationwide network of ultra-rapid chargers (i.e. more than 50kW) that can accelerate the switch to EVs remains a distant one: the pace of the EV transition needs to speed up.
To highlight the EV challenge facing this country, not a single ultra-rapid chargepoint is located in the constituencies of the Transport ministers responsible for EVs – in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, by installing Levistor’s flywheel energy storage system (FESS), or ‘kinetic battery’, the ambitions of government ministers (and the EV charging companies) along with the expectations of drivers can be met.
Against this background, Levistor launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this month, via the Crowdcube platform, to commercialise and roll-out its storage technology within the next two years. It exceeded its initial target within the first week of its official launch.
Levistor’s technology stores up energy from the grid at times of low demand and this energy is released at high speed to EVs when drivers arrive at the chargepoint and are needing a super-fast charge (see Notes to Editors). Levistor’s technology will give an EV driver 100 miles range with just a 5 minute charge.
The Levistor flywheel can be easily connected to the local grid and can be quickly deployed above or below ground singularly or in multiples. This makes them ideal for service stations, tourist destinations, bus/rail termini, fleet depots and distribution centres (for example supermarket deliveries and general retail).
Matt Journee, Chief Executive of Levistor said: “By 2030, all new vehicles will be electric but the biggest thing stopping motorists buying EVs at the moment, according to a survey by Kwik Fit, is a lack of fast-charging points and the connected worry about range. Our neat and cost-effective technology will put an end to EV range anxiety, so encouraging the take-up of EVs in all parts of the country, especially in rural areas. Importantly, we can strengthen the grid quickly and at a much lower cost.”
The recent report into the EV charging market by the Competition & Markets Authority (July 2021) highlighted these factors as among the main barriers that needed to be overcome if the full benefits of the EV revolution are to be realised.
Matt Journee added: “The CMA said that everyone should be able to access convenient and affordable charging, no matter where they live, and rapid and ultra-rapid chargers were critical for the UK’s shift to EVs. We have the solution. We can ensure that ultra-rapid EV charging is as quick and as simple as filling-up whether you are in London, Land’s End, Llandudno, Larne or Livingstone.”
“Upgrading the EV charging infrastructure has been compared to broadband where rural areas suffered significantly worse connection than cities. But unlike broadband, a patchy EV infrastructure will affect the entire population as it would mean that a driver could not confidently drive wherever they wanted to. Our technology will reduce the risk of having EV deserts in the UK. Levistor will help build consumer trust in using EVs to make longer journeys and fast-track the switch to EVs.”
To date, Levistor has received grant support from Highways England, the UK Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, as well as private investment.
For further information
Levistor – www.levistor.com
Matt Journee, Chief Executive: 07493 395223 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Andrews, Chief Commercial Officer: 07740 195562 / email@example.com
Paul Taylor, Taylor Keogh Communications: 07966 782611 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
- Levsitor’s crowdfund campaign: https://www.crowdcube.com/companies/levistor/pitches/lO0M8Z
- According to Capital Economics, it will cost up to £45bn to upgrade the UK’s grid to meet the demand of EVs, whilst the cost of grid connections can be particularly expensive in remote locations. As ultra-rapid chargepoints use significant power, they could result in the need to upgrade a sub-station – this could cost over £500k. Also, the time taken to upgrade power connections can be extremely long; upgrading to a 1MW connection can take up to a year and in some cases even longer (if a cable needs to cross Forestry Commission land or Network Rail land, the planning process can take another year).
- The CMA report (EV Charging Market Study, July 2021) said (para 4.16) that significant investment is needed to improve the quality and reliability of charge points to meet likely EV charging demand at MSAs. To do so, investment is needed both in the chargepoints themselves but also more significantly, in the electricity network infrastructure to provide increased electricity supply. Estimates indicate that the equivalent of 2300 ultra-rapid charge points are needed at English MSAs by 2030 (there are around 500 rapid and ultra-rapid changepoints at MSAs in the whole of the UK today).
- As of December 2019, there were 24,445 public chargepoints in the UK (36 per 100,000 population). Rapid public chargepoints (22-100kW) were 6.1 per 100,000 population. Ultra-rapid public chargepoints (more than 100kW) were 0.7 per 100,000 population.
- How does our flywheel work: our system stores up energy from the grid when there are no vehicles on the forecourt or at the depot. It will supply that stored energy at high speed to electric vehicles upon arrival. The kinetic energy system (a “mechanical battery”) stores energy in a rotating shaft; electrical energy is added through an electric motor (speeding up the shaft) and taken out through a generator (slowing down the shaft).
- Levistor Ltd is a private company to commercialise its kinetic energy storage technology for grid power boosting. It is the only known, fail-safe flywheel with a simple, low-cost steel construction that can spin faster for greater energy storage. Its main office is in Surbiton, Surrey.
- Funding to develop the technology from the UK Government includes grants from BEIS via its Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (£288,850 in 2017), Highways England and Innovate UK (£934,465 in 2019) and from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (£545,000 in 2021).