EV charging startup, WeVolt, has just closed $2 million in pre-seed funding. The ‘people-powered’ charging network was launched in Perth in 2022 to help fill the current public EV charging infrastructure gap in Australia.
The app-based platform provides EV users with information regarding public chargers in their area — including real-time data such as location, availability, and pricing.
The software also enables charge point owners to self-manage the use of their chargers and receive real-time payments.
The app is currently in early access in Perth, giving users access to AC and DC charging ports in commercial and residential areas. It also includes a streamlined payment system that allows for monthly and yearly subscriptions, as well as a pay-per-use model.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
Between the real-time payments and the subscription options, it feels a bit like GoGet for EV chargers. But considering it is yet to be properly launched and we don’t have visibility on the prices, that remains to be seen.
According to WeVolt CEO, Jagroop Gill, the software is in the final stages of beta testing and has begun receiving transaction fees from chargers in Perth.
While WeVolt hasn’t been specific about what the raise will go towards, expansion is certainly at the front of the mind, with plans to grow across Australia. An official launch date has been pegged for August.
“We appreciate the support that has come from our investors who recognise the immense potential of Wevolt’s footprint,” Gill said in a statement.
“We have been pleased by the interest received from Charge Point Management Companies and have already entered into commercial agreements.
“We are passionate about the adoption of sustainable transportation and seek collaborations with strategic local, national, and international partners within the EV community, to enhance Australia’s experience with EV technology,” said Gill.
Lots happening in the EV charging space, especially in Western Australia
The raise comes in an interesting month in the world of Australian EV charging. NRMA confirmed last week that it will be ending free public charging across its network. While the pricing is yet to be announced, NRMA’s Energy and Infrastructure Chief, Carly Irving-Dolan, said it would be “very competitive”.
The payment trial is expected to begin in October or November 2023 via the NRMA phone app.
Sticking with payments, Australia’s largest EV charging network, Chargefox, will begin rolling out ‘overstay’ fees for every minute a driver remains plugged into a charging station after the battery has been topped up. Tesla follows a similar process across its Supercharger network.
The exact fee hasn’t been announced yet, but it will start incurring from next month at select locations in Western Australia. For reference, Tesla charges $0.50 per minute when a charging site is at least 50% full. This jumps to $1 when the location is completely occupied by EVs.
Chargefox has accompanied this news with the announcement of 98 fresh fast chargers across 49 locations to create what it’s calling the Western Australia Electric Vehicle Highway.
This will be done in collaboration with the Western Australian state government, Horizon Power, and Synergy and will extend the network from Eucla, Exmouth, and Kununurra.