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Hungarian Solar Paving set to Disrupt Charging Systems

Platio’s solar energy solution provides an aesthetic and space-saving way to generate green power. Its debut at the Prologis logistics park marks just the first chapter in what promises to be an unfolding success story.

Green e-charging has a brand-new ambassador in Hungary. Platio has entered the market with its disruptive solution that integrates high-performance solar cells into sidewalk paving elements made of recycled plastic. The pilot project is up and running at a site belonging to Prologis, Inc., a global leader in logistics real estate, where the renewable energy system supplies an electric car charging station with power generated from sunlight.

As marketing officer Dávid Csende tells the Budapest Business Journal, Platio is regarded as an open platform, which may serve as a launch pad for many newer products. Every potential solution is based on a modular recycled plastic structure. That is what makes the installation of complex power systems simple.

“This key feature should be of value for new development companies that are working on fulfilling the charging needs of e-cars and are seeking new inventions to modernize charging systems,” Csende says. “We are on the lookout for a partner firm with which we could further develop the wireless charging systems integrated in Platio’s platform, thus contributing to the proliferation of electric driving.”

The initial testing ground is Prologis Park Budapest-Harbor, which has become the first logistics park in the world to integrate such a green solution into its daily operations. László Kemenes, senior vice president and country manager of Prologis Hungary, explains his company’s decision by referring to the fact that applying pioneering innovations in the field of green energy is one of the top priorities of the company.

“Sustainability is embedded in our strategy, our operations and our mindset,” he says. “We implement several green solutions in our logistics real estate facilities, from energy-efficient lighting to recycled building materials, and we submit all of our new buildings for BREEAM accreditation.”

Opportunities Abound

Expectations run high in terms of the cooperation with Platio, since the project should trigger more similar efforts. “We hope that this pilot will inspire more users to try green technology and generate further innovations in this field, which would be beneficial for everyone,” Kemenes notes.

Platio is not short of long-term plans, either. The upcoming two years will be dedicated to sales. First, it intends to reach out to enterprises manufacturing and maintaining outdoor electric devices so that wireless operations can be set up for street lamps and billboards by building solar paving elements around them.

“Another niche market is architects and construction companies for whom it is of key importance to find a common denominator for renewable energies and design,” Csende says. Street furniture manufacturers are also on the radar, since the Platio solar cell module is suitable for outdoor furniture as well.

The retail market offers even more opportunities, with ever more private customers willing to opt for aesthetic solutions as opposed to conventional solar systems installed on rooftops. “Our product is also easier to clean and maintain,” Csende notes.

Platio has seen one funding round so far, with a next bigger one to come soon. Last year’s R&D operations were financed from grants and the sale of pilot projects. “Seven of us are working on development, scaling up manufacturing capacity is under way. We are counting on permanent growth on both fronts,” concludes Csende optimistically.