Estonian EV charging startup VOOL has just raised €1.7 million to fuel the production of its innovative solution, and the former President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid is a new backer. The team are aiming to meet the growing market demand for EV infrastructure across Europe.
The move towards more sustainable ways of moving around has hit the accelerator pedal. Across Europe, more and more of us are opting for electric vehicles and it’s creating a revolution in the mobility space. Electric vehicles (EV) certainly offer a more sustainable option, however, the infrastructure to fuel adoption of them hasn’t kept up pace.
It’s estimated that Europe will need at least 29 million private charging points by 2030 – which is 77x more than the current number available. Building new power grids to meet this demand isn’t exactly an environmentally-friendly choice, so the gap between access to grids and EV adoption is simply widening. VOOL, an Estonian startup want to bridge that.
VOOL has developed a smart EV charging solution that leverages existing grids. The startup has just received new funding to rev up its plans.
- €1.7 million raised in a Seed investment
- The round was led by Specialist VC and attracted the former President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, as an angel investor. Additional backers include Elar Nellis, Taavi Kotka, Justin Jenk, Toomas Kõuhkna, as well as Opus 11 VC and Startup Wise Guys
- This brings the total amount raised by the startup to €4.7 million, with €3 million stemming from an EU grant
Kersti Kaljulaid: “I invest in companies that operate in a sector I understand and create real things for which there is a market. I do not dare to support solutions that are still trying to find their problem to solve, but there is no such concern with VOOL. The problem – how to get the increasing amounts of energy we need from the plug – is certainly real. You just have to offer better solutions than your competitors.”
Founded in 2018, VOOL’s smart grid solution claims to use the existing grid three times more efficiently. It doesn’t provoke an overload and is capable of providing reliable and cost-efficient charging for both business and private customers.
Juhan Härm, the co-founder and CEO: “Our solution uses the existing grid three times more efficiently. Currently, your dishwasher, charger, and kettle still have access to only a fraction of the full capacity of the grid, even though the whole of Europe is connected to three phases of electricity. We use all three phases and automatically switch between them when needed. This way, we can offer reliable and sustainable automatic charging.”
The company was launched by Juhan Härm (CEO), Sander Vahtras (CPO) and Hindrik Kilter (CTO) with a mission to help push forward EUrope’s energy transition, supplying the infrastructure needed to make a net zero, sustainable future possible. The solution also maximises cost-efficiency as the software tracks the electricity prices and ensures that the EV is charged at the lowest cost possible within the set timeframe.
Härm: “This enables one to save up to 90% on the charging costs. Moreover, real-estate developers can avoid additional costs associated with infrastructure upgrades and building new charging spots.”
VOOL manages the whole development of its hardware and software in-house and is an all-inclusive solution which also provides the charger, hub, app (B2C), web platform, and admin portal (B2B). The system is compatible with all cars, other chargers and different software solutions, meaning it can be rolled out across European markets.
Kersti Kaljulaid: “We can build rougher power grids to satisfy the increasing demand, but that would be unsustainable. It is better to find a way to best use the already existing main fuse. That is what VOOL does. To be honest, it is such a simple solution that I am surprised this had not yet been invented.”
With the funding secured, VOOL plans to ramp up the production of its chargers and expand its reach into new European markets. The company is on track to install 20,000 charging stations by the end of 2023 – helping meet that growing market need.