ZipCharge announces strategic partnerships with ICEE and Graphite to develop the GoHub

Source: press release, 11 May 2022

The GoHub is an innovative form of public infrastructure that combines charging, portable power and energy storage
The GoHub is an innovative form of public infrastructure that combines charging, portable power and energy storage (photo: ZipCharge)

ZipCharge, the portable EV charging expert, has announced strategic partnerships with ICEE Managed Services and Graphite, bringing together three innovative British businesses to develop the mechanical and electrical systems for the GoHub, the world’s first portable charging infrastructure for shared, public use.

The GoHub hosts multiple ZipCharge Go EV powerbanks to address the need for convenient, flexible, and low-cost energy. It is a secure way of housing, recharging, and providing access to the ZipCharge Go so that anyone can access a portable powerbank at the lowest cost. The GoHub is modular and flexible in size, suitable for a diverse number of locations, including on-street, in car parks, at work and in private environments. It will form part of the global roll-out of the ZipCharge energy point network, with the ambition to deploy 100,000 GoHubs around the world by 2030.

ICEE Managed Services and Graphite are key strategic partners in the development, production and bringing the GoHub to market. Both companies have more than 8 years of world class engineering, manufacturing and installation of public infrastructure, including the Brompton Bike Hire docks at sixty locations across the UK.

Jonathan Carrier, ZipCharge co-founder, says, “We are delighted to have found two strategic partners in ICEE and Graphite. Together we will deliver the GoHub, a revolution in public charging provision, providing a community-based solution that can be installed anywhere, at a much lower cost and at a much faster rate, while enabling any parking space to be a charging spot. The ability to roll-out Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure at speed is essential to allow national and local governments to deploy it at a faster rate where it is needed the most to support mass EV adoption. EV owners will now have the choice to purchase the Go outright, on subscription or rent one through the GoHub. The GoHub is the world’s first portable EV charging infrastructure for shared, public use.”

Working together with ZipCharge, ICEE and Graphite undertook a 3-month concept study to evaluate the design, technical, operational and installation challenges of the early GoHub concept. Using lessons learnt from other projects, the team could accelerate their understanding of the technical challenges associated with both the mechanical design and electrical systems. From the start of 2022, ICEE undertook detailed engineering design work on a range of GoHub configurations, focused on delivering a modular solution that could maximise the number of Go powerbanks available in the smallest possible footprint – to reduce material cost, simplify manufacturing, while also making it easier to transport and install.

ICEE have developed bespoke metal enclosures for a range of street and road furniture applications. They offer a full engineering and manufacturing service to develop bespoke cabinets using lean methodology plus advanced design technics and production technologies, so reduce time to market and cost. ICEE also provide a range of rapid prototyping capabilities including sophisticated CAD 3D solid modelling, the latest CNC fibre laser, waterjet cutting and brake press machines.

Graphite have worked with the likes of Vodafone and Brompton bike hire, developing the electronics and software to operate and manage the hire of Brompton’s unique folding bicycle lockers. Graphite designed bespoke Linux based controllers and modems with ultra-low power consumption to reflect the fact that most Brompton docks run off solar power. As well as the controller, Graphite developed the system for identifying in which dock and bay each individual bike is located in throughout the UK, which is how the ZipCharge Go powerbanks will be monitored inside the GoHub.

Paul Harris, Managing Director, ICEE Managed Services, says, “We welcome the opportunity to be working with ZipCharge in taking the Go Hub product from its original concept into the pre-production design stage of its development. Our modern manufacturing facilities will provide a total Turn-Key Support Solution with ZipCharge in delivering the Go Hub product to market.”

Cory Carver-Grenside, Director, Graphite Ltd “Graphite are delighted to be working with ZipCharge on such an original product, we pride ourselves on being a technical solution provider to the likes of Vodafone and BT whilst developing new and innovative remote monitoring and control solutions.”