Smart Plug for Startup: Gulplug Drives Innovation in the Charging Industry with Altair's Startup Program
Every startup has limited funds to start their business, and spending large amounts of the budget on software may not always be possible. Altair has created its very own startup program to support technical startups by offering access to all kinds of simulation, IoT, and HPC solutions at an affordable price.
As e-mobility is undeniably one of today's most pioneering industries, companies and startups developing electric vehicles, motors, new battery technologies, autonomous driving or charging technologies are at the forefront of innovation. One of these pioneers is French startup Gulplug, located in Grenoble, France. Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of Schneider Electric Group, Gulplug has set out to revolutionize plug and charging technology used in today's electric and hybrid vehicles. To create new products and to drive innovation in the market, Gulplug is using Altair Flux™ and the Altair startup program.
Automatic for the people: high-end comfort for clean mobility
With their innovative magnetic technology to connect electrical machines, Gulplug addresses two different markets – cleantech business and clean mobility. For the first one, the company offers energy efficiency by supporting factories and plants with a monitoring device to monitor, analyze, and reduce energy consumption with wireless and battery-less, self-powered energy sensors. Gulplug’s very simple, easy to use solution helps them consume energy very smartly and efficiently, thus reducing costs significantly.
"Some might say, to plug in something is not a big deal. I plug in my phone and any other electrical device, so if I need to plug in my car to get it charged one would assume I would do that as well. However, a study undertaken by a car maker revealed that when it comes to hybrid vehicles, people charge them only for the first few times, after that they stop, since it’s not a pre-requisite to drive the car. As a result, the car will not use its electrical sources and will produce emissions, and hybrid car owners then don’t benefit from the advantages of owning an electric vehicle. With our invention we avoid this by automating the process of charging the car," explains Xavier Pain, CEO of Gulplug.
The Gulplug device can be used without having to actively plug the car in. Vehicles are becoming more and more autonomous, and in just 1 or 2 years from now, cars will probably be able to park themselves, so they also need to autonomously charge themselves. "If your next car parks itself, it also has to be able to plug itself in, which is what we provide with our solution," says Xavier Pain. While there are already some contactless charging solutions available in the automotive industry, these use induction, are very expensive, and their power is limited. The new magnetic based, self-plugging, conductive solution Gulplug offers on the other hand, is more competitively priced, provides more power, and there is no HF radiation at all.