Electric cars can be charged “super-fast” with technology developed by a trio of old university mates from Brisbane’s southeast.
Holland Park’s David Finn, South Brisbane’s James Kennedy and Annerley’s Paul Sernia founded Tritium in 2001 and have built it to be a world leader in electric car technology.
Their new Veefil stations, which can power a trip from Brisbane to Sydney with just three 20-minute sessions, are set to open up Brisbane’s roads to electric vehicles like never before.
Chief executive Dr David Finn said the business was conceived after the group represented the University of Queensland as team SunShark at the World Solar Challenge in 1999.
“We raced our solar-powered car from Darwin to Adelaide against 50 or so teams from around the world,” Dr Finn said. “We developed the electronics to form that car … after the race other teams started buying our products.”
Clean energy program manager at UQ’s the Global Change Institute Craig Froome said the business was poised for success.
“They already have licences that allow them to export into their biggest markets in Europe and the US … They have a head start on a lot of their competitors,” Mr Froome said.
Mr Froome said demand for electric vehicles would likely surge when more affordable models hit the market and infrastructure, such as charging stations, was set in place.
According to Navigant Research data from 2014, there will be about 6.5 million electric cars on roads throughout the world by 2020.
SUPPORT FROM THE STATE
THE Queensland Government has backed Tritium’s technology with a $2.5 million grant to ensure it reaches the market sooner.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Murarrie innovators were the first to receive a slice of the $40 million Business Development Fund, in a major motion of confidence last week.
“It’s exactly the type of innovative business that the Palaszczuk Government is looking to invest in,” Mr Pitt said.
The pledge would be matched by private sector co-investors St Baker Energy Innovation Trust and the Varley Group.
Tritium chief executive officer David Finn said the company was in the final stages of commercialisation for its Veefil station.
“Backing from the Palaszczuk Government will allow us to expand our research and development, manufacturing and sales workforce, as well as finalise expansion at our new manufacturing facilities,” he said.
For more information about Tritium and its products, visit tritium.com.au