Making it Work

Affinity on track to bring 5,000 EV dealerships on board within a year

The company links automotive stakeholders to energy stakeholders to enable dealerships to offer a one-stop-shop

Raj Lyons: ‘When you go into a dealership, our system will manage the whole process’

Co Galway-based business Affinity EV is on course to have its electric vehicle (EV) charging platform available in 5,000 dealerships within the next 12 months.

Affinity EV was started by Raj Lyons in 2020 and currently has eight staff. The company. located in Ballinasloe, provides a link between EV makers and energy companies to enable dealerships to sell an all-in-one offering to customers when purchasing an EV.

Affinity EV

Founded by: Raj Lyons in 2020

Staff: 8

Availability: Due to be in 5,000 dealerships in 12 months

“We’re the very first globally to do this. With EVs becoming more mainstream, there’s an emergence of a new sector which requires the automotive stakeholders to be connected to energy stakeholders,” Lyons told the Business Post.

“If you buy an EV at present, there are other parts and requirements you need. This includes home charging and access to public charging. At the moment, all of these elements are independent to each customer.”

Affinity has created a method where the dealer can sell all the services required on the energy side as part of the transaction for the physical EV itself.

“It’s a white-label platform that connects up all the stakeholders between the auto and energy industry. It’s a complete EV eco-system through one single digital touchpoint,” Lyons said.

“When you go into a dealership, our system will manage the whole process.”

Lyons got the idea from his prior 16 years working in the auto industry. He recognised that the shift to EVs was happening, but the sector wasn’t ready for all it entailed.

“There was a fragmented journey where customers’ needs and requirements weren’t being met after they purchased the EV. It was a case of ‘go sort your own charger or energy tariffs’. When I set up the business, then I recognised the pain points from the energy sector’s side,” he said.

“Energy providers really want to get their hands on these customers. EV drivers will typically be high energy users. Energy providers wanted to get into dealerships. What we created was something for both the automotive and energy companies. It’s a real game-changer.”

The business launched into the UK this year with the Peter Vardy Group. Lyons said several other partnerships with energy providers will be announced later this year.

The business aims to launch in the Middle East by the end of this year and in Australia next year.

Lyons said Enterprise Ireland had provided significant assistance to the company in developing links internationally. The business is part of the high potential start-up unit.

“They’re supporting us with market strategy and market entry into a number of countries,” Lyons said. “There’s a land grab opportunity for us as a world first in what we are doing. We want to scale and grow at speed.

“At the moment we’re juggling a couple of market entry strategies, which Enterprise Ireland are supporting. The support on the ground in those markets is enormous. In addition to the Middle East and Australia, we’re probably going to look at the US very soon.”