By Scott Wright

AN Aberdeen-based company that designs, manufactures and operates “next generation” electric vehicle charging points plans to double its workforce and ramp up the roll-out of installations after securing a £9 million funding deal.

Trojan Energy specialises in flat-and-flush charge points that it says remove the need for obstructive roadside infrastructure and leave pavements clear of clutter. Its growth ambitions have been boosted by £9m of debt financing from the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), which declared the backing would underpin the institution's mission to help achieve a “just transition” to net zero in Scotland by 2045.

The deal is the 20th to be completed by the state-funded bank since it launched with a £2 billion war-chest to invest in its first 10 years in November 2020, and it takes to £258.4 million the amount it has deployed in the near two years of its existence.

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The bank was set up to deploy investment in Scottish firms that will help it meet its “mission-led” criteria – innovation, tackling inequality and supporting the drive towards net zero. In July last year, it invested £2m in Forev, which owns and operates an electric vehicle charging network.

Trojan, which wants to make EV charging more affordable and accessible, will use the funding to scale up operations as it aims to have more than 2,000 charging points installed by the end of next year, and plans to double its workforce to 60 by March of 2023.

The investment from the SNIB builds on early-stage investment that Trojan has received from a number of investors, including Scottish Enterprise.

Ian Mackenzie, chief executive and co-founder of Trojan Energy, said: “We approached the bank as there is clear alignment of missions and we see them as long-term partners on our journey.

“Our charging system is designed specifically to help accelerate the journey to net zero by making electric charging points more accessible. We want the EV transition to be for everyone, not just those with a driveway.

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“The bank has been there for us at the crucial point where we are beginning to get big orders in. The investment will allow us to further commercialise our technology and increase our manufacturing capacity.”

The investment in Trojan comes amid a continuing shortfall of on-street charging points which some critics say will hold the UK back as it transitions to electric vehicles.

It is estimated that there are currently 10 million people in the UK who park on streets but do not have access to EV charging.

Trojan’s EV charging solution provides customers with a lance that connects their vehicle to a flat-and-flush charging point in the street. The charging points are individually connected to people’s home electricity supplies or can be powered via underground ducts by power cabinets, located up to 100 metres away. The cabinets can send power to 15 charging points at the same time.

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The funding from the SNIB will allow Trojan to commercialise its technology and ramp up its manufacturing, with a view to decreasing the size of the cabinets, reducing costs, and offering a wider range of charging options to customers.

Nicola Douglas, executive director of SNIB, said: “We are delighted to support Trojan with their significant scale-up plans. EV infrastructure is a vital element of the transition to electric vehicles.

“The bank supports Trojan’s vision to provide charging infrastructure which is accessible to all, regardless of the type of property you live in.

“I have been massively impressed with the drive and determination of the Trojan team and look forward to working with them and seeing the delivery of their growth plans.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for SNIB said there was no update on the bank’s search for a successor to former boss Eilidh Mactaggart, who stepped down abruptly from the publicly funded post in February.

The resignation of Ms Mactaggart, the bank’s first chief executive who was paid a salary of £235,000, sparked a protracted political row, as opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament quizzed ministers on the surprise nature of the departure.

Ms Mactaggart, who previously worked for MetLife Investment Management, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ABN Amro Bank NV, issued a statement in March saying she had stepped down for “personal reasons”.

A spokesman for the SNIB said the recruitment process was ongoing. Chief financial officer Sarah Roughead has been serving as interim chief executive since Ms Mactaggart left.