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14 March, 2012 - 01:07 By Jamie Quested

Cambridge startup in electric vehicle charge

Ampium’s plug-in and contactless chargers will provide more than 5 miles of range per minute charged.

A Cambridge startup company is aiming to make electric powered vehicles a practical reality, worldwide.

Ampium, based at Cambridge Science Park is applying its expertise and proven entrepreneurship in electronics, battery charging and smart grid to bring its revolutionary products to market by 2013.

The company is working to make electric vehicles a practical reality for road users everywhere. Its technology enables fast charging in the home, or continuously along roads, and the startup says that users will experience the same, if not greater, convenience as using a petrol or diesel vehicle, simultaneously helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Ampium’s plug-in and contactless chargers will provide more than 5 miles of range per minute charged. Charging most electric vehicle batteries will take just under 30 minutes. The company says its smart grid metering technology will ease demand on distribution and transmission networks, contributing to national grid stability.

Ampium’s in-road technology uses coils buried in the road to enable drive-along contactless charging – the contactless charging equipment may be retrofitted to electric, hybrid and fossil fuel cars and vans. The transferred power will propel a car or van at UK legal speeds. In towns, Ampium also see possibilities to power buses and the technology uses the same materials and processes as used in motorway and traffic light presence detection systems.

The company’s founders, Andrew Dames and Andrew Howe have a successful history of innovation in developing battery charging and inductive and power electronics, together with a broad range of domestic and commercial electronics and automotive products and systems – both having created and run highly successful technology start-ups.

Andrew Dames has worked with induction for 20 years and has many patented products in the market including an inductive current sensor in 10 million US smart meters. He was a founder of Sentec and Polatis.

Andrew Howe is a co-founder of Sentec, with a decade of smart metering behind him. He was also former interim CEO and technology director with RLtec, a UK smart grid start-up and Global Cleantech 100 company.

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