Octopus Energy Generation funds EV charging infrastructure in the North of England
- Octopus Energy Generation backs Be.EV charging network with up to £110m
- Be.EV to install 1,000 new EV charge points by 2024, starting in the North of England, expanding its network by over 600%
- Move marks Octopus’ first stake in EV charging infrastructure
London, Thursday 27th October 2022 - Octopus Energy Generation today announces its first investment in the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, helping accelerate the country’s transition to green, electric transport.
Octopus Energy Generation is earmarking up to £110m on behalf of its Sky fund (ORI SCSp) in Manchester-based EV public charging network Be.EV to scale and install new charge points across the UK.
Octopus Energy already supplies all of Be.EV chargers with 100% green electricity. The deal will help grow Be.EV’s 150-strong public charge point network, with Be.EV committed to adding 1,000 further charge points across the North of England and beyond by 2024. The move will increase the firm’s charge point coverage by over 600%.
Public EV charge points are currently unevenly distributed in the UK, skewed towards London*. Octopus’ backing means Be.EV, which already operates Greater Manchester’s largest public EV charging network, can address this imbalance at speed. Its unique model builds concentrated, community-based charging networks where they’re most needed to ensure more equitable access to public chargers and instil confidence in going electric.
Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest renewable energy investors. This deal is part of its strategy to invest in high-growth companies driving the energy transition, and further deals outside of renewable generation assets are already in the pipeline.
Matt Setchell, co-head of Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team said: “Our first foray into funding EV charging infrastructure is a significant milestone. We’re accelerating the green energy transition, with more deals coming up to turbocharge it. As a nation, we need to rapidly build more EV charge points to meet the growing number of drivers going electric. Easy and fair access to chargers will help phase out petrol-guzzling cars once and for all.”
Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Be.EV said: “Everybody, not just the wealthy, must be able to make the switch to electric cars but currently people who live outside London or in less affluent areas are underserved by public EV charging. If you live in a flat or terrace, you can’t charge at home. This investment addresses that imbalance and helps kickstart a national infrastructure effort that, for once, doesn’t start in London.
“The backing from Octopus Energy Generation is transformational for us. We have sites lined up and underway that will form dense clusters of chargers that give people the confidence to go electric. We’re also building infrastructure that communities can be proud of, reinventing charging locations as green neighbourhood hubs and developing iconic designs. Octopus’ support means we can take this unique approach to other parts of the country, addressing the imbalance in charging provision across north and south, urban and rural communities.”
This deal marks the next step in Octopus Energy Group’s advancement of EVs. Its EV roaming service Electric Universe makes charging EVs simple as drivers use one card and app to access over 310,000 public charge points from a range of brands globally. As part of this agreement, Be.EV will be joining Electric Universe, alongside the 460+ other charging networks on the platform.
In addition, Octopus’ Electric Vehicles division makes the switch to electric cars easy with initiatives like its all-you-need EV package, providing drivers with a car, charger and bespoke electricity tariff.
This latest deal will support the 456,000 EVs** on UK roads today. With over half of drivers aged 16 to 49 years in the UK likely to switch to an EV in the next decade***, the EV market is set to massively grow – and access to public chargers will play a vital role.
Notes to editors:
*Department for Transport, Electric Vehicle charging device statistics: January 2022, showing how London has the highest level of charging provision per 100,000 of population, at 102. For comparison, the North West has 24 for every 100,000 people.
** The RAC’s ‘The road to electric - in charts and data’, 2022 estimates
*** Over half of younger drivers likely to switch to electric in next decade, ONS Census 2021, October 2021
Octopus Energy Group
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About Octopus Energy Generation
Octopus Energy Generation is driving the renewable energy agenda and building green power for the future. This means reshaping the market by leading the transition to a cleaner, greener future through renewable projects connected more deeply to customers and businesses.
As one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, its fund management specialist team launched in 2010 with a mission to accelerate the transition to a future powered by renewable energy. This team manages over 3 GW of renewable energy assets like wind and solar farms across 11 countries, worth £4.4bn. These renewable projects generate enough green energy to power 2 million homes every year, and is the equivalent of taking over 1 million petrol cars off the road. The business also launched the Fan Club in the UK 2021, the world's first local energy tariff that provides cheaper, greener energy to customers living near local wind turbines when the wind blows, with a discount of up to 50%. Thousands of people have got in touch asking for the Fan Club in their community. For more information, check out our website.
About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy Group is a global energy tech pioneer, launched in 2016 to use technology to unlock a customer focused and affordable green energy revolution. It is part of Octopus Group, which is a certified BCorp. With operations in 14 countries, Octopus Energy Group's mission is going global.
Octopus’s domestic energy arm already serves 3.4 million customers with cheaper greener power, through Octopus Energy, M&S Energy, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy. Octopus Electric Vehicles is helping make clean transport cheaper and easier, and Octopus Energy Services is bringing smart products to thousands of homes. Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a £4.4bn portfolio of renewable energy assets throughout the continent.
All of these are made possible by Octopus’s tech arm, Kraken Technologies, which offers a proprietary, in-house platform based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities, Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralised, decarbonised energy system. This technology has been licensed to support over 20 million customer accounts worldwide, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Origin Energy.
In December 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at approximately $5 billion following a $600 million investment from Generation Investment Management and a $300 million investment from Canada Pensions Plan Investments Board. Both investors back businesses that drive sustainability, promote green energy and tackle climate change. It was the company’s third major investment round since launching to the market. For more information, check out our website.
Be.EV is a disruptive business that has created a new way of delivering public EV charging – one which puts chargers where they are most needed and ensures equitable access for all. It took over the running of Greater Manchester’s largest public EV charging network in December 2020 and is set to scale it rapidly – from 150 charge points now to 1,150 by 2024. The up to £110m investment from Octopus will fund the installation of 1,000 new public charge points across England by 2024. In 2021/22 we raised £8.11m in crowdfunding via ethical investment platform Abundance to deliver an initial pipeline of charger installations. We have ambitious plans for future growth and want to deliver our unique model nationally. Using data and research, Be.EV builds concentrated regional charging networks that make a difference to local communities. Our green hubs and superhubs transform neighbourhoods and all of our sites are designed to be accessible and sustainable. For more information,
check out: www.be-ev.co.uk
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