Driving the roll out of electric vehicle charging points: the Bank commits £45 million to support ambitious roll-out across motorway services

Driving the roll out of electric vehicle charging points: the Bank commits £45 million to support ambitious roll-out across motorway services 

26 July 2023

UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced a commitment of £45m in senior debt to support GRIDSERVE, a sustainable energy business and Electric Vehicle charge point operator (CPO), with the roll-out of critical Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across motorway service areas in the UK.

The Bank’s financing, part of a £300m committed Capex facility, will support investment in around 2,000 ultra-rapid (up to 350kW) charging points as part of GRIDSERVE’s wider roll out to increase availability at motorway service areas nationwide, which in totality represents the largest debt raise for a privately-owned charge point operator.

With around 45% of all public charging points currently located in London and the South-East, GRIDSERVE will reduce range anxiety across the UK by investing in on-route and destination charging points nationwide, thereby aligning with the Bank’s mandate to drive regional and local economic growth, as well as supporting the transition to net zero. 

Significant capital is required in the EV charging sector to help meet the Government’s target of 300,000 public chargers by 2030 and deliver at least six rapid charging points at every motorway service area across England by 2023, and the Bank’s financing will help deliver these targets.

John Flint, CEO of UK Infrastructure Bank, said:

"Road transport is one of the largest contributors to UK greenhouse gas emissions, and the Bank can play a critical role in unlocking finance which will accelerate the decarbonisation of this sector.

"We have been supporting this debt raise from the outset and, as we have seen investor appetite grow and more players come in on the deal, it has affirmed the role we can play in stimulating these types of emerging markets. We hope to play a similar role with other charge point operators looking to scale up in the future.

"More broadly, one of the barriers to consumer adoption of EVs is access to charging infrastructure, and our support for GRIDSERVE will not only directly increase accessibility for UK drivers but also demonstrates the viability of debt financing to boost further investment."

Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said:

"I am pleased to see the UK Infrastructure Bank investment into GRIDSERVE’s EV charging infrastructure, which will improve public access to convenient and reliable charging infrastructure across the UK."

This is not the first EV charging infrastructure project the Bank has supported, and it is now supporting the EV market at both the equity and debt financing ends. On the former, it continues to invest in the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) - the Bank’s equity investment fund, managed by Zouk. The fund received an initial £200m cornerstone investment and has since attracted a further £220m of private sector capital. With the Bank's ongoing financial support, the fund is projected to fund the installation of over 100,000 electric vehicle charge points by 2026.

In addition, the Bank is a cornerstone investor in the Octopus Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (OSIF), which recently announced its first investment of £50m in Northern-Ireland based CPO Weev. The investment will support the construction of 2,000 chargers across Northern Ireland, which is currently disproportionately underserved by charging points, with data from the Department for Transport noting it had only 20 public charging points per 100,000 people.