The EV Network (EVN) revealed today it had clinched £50m of investment from Sustainable Development Capital to fund the roll out 100 high-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs across the UK.
The £50m commitment is the initial stage of an investment programme that could see the clean energy investor pump up to £200m into the charging network developer.
The firms said the investment would help EVN build the charging infrastructure crucial to accelerating uptake of EVs in the UK.
Lord Barker, former energy and climate change minister and chair of EVN, said the deal was a "terrific shot in the arm for the whole UK electric vehicle sector".
"EVN will now roar out of the Covid lockdown and look to drive the roll out of our state-of-the-art fast charging stations faster than Lewis Hamilton," he said. "This is private sector green recovery at its most promising."
The funding will be provided to qualifying projects from the Energy Efficiency Income Trust (SEIT), a listed energy efficiency fund managed by SDCL.
Chief executive of SDCL Jonathan Maxwell welcomed the deal and commended EVN's "unique business model".
"There is a growing need for charging infrastructure in the UK as we transition towards more efficient fuel choices that reduce harm to our environment, that are cost effective and reliable," he said. "EVN's unique business model offers Charge Point Operators charging infrastructure as a service, making high-powered EV charging hubs available for use at high quality locations nationwide."
Meanwhile, Reza Shaybani, cofounder and chief executive of EVN, dubbed the deal an "outstanding achievement" for EVN, especially in light of the current economic climate.
"This investment will enable us to contribute massively to the required infrastructure for the green mobility of the future," he said. "Public demand for cleaner air, long-term and prudent government policies alongside the automotive industry's shift from internal combustion engines to EVs will make the transition towards a cleaner and greener future of mobility possible."
The EV Network is one of a host of developers pursuing plans to rapidly expand the UK's network of EV charging points, as demand for new plug-in vehicles continues to build. A raft of companies - several of which are backed by major investors and corporate blue chips - are developing a range of new charging technologies and services, including smart charging and energy storage capabilities that promise to deliver multiple revenue streams for operators.
The news comes on the same day as Nissan and E.ON unveiled one of the largest trials of vehicle-to-grid charging technologies to date, showcasing how EV batteries could help to provide balancing services to the grid.