London-based Octopus Energy, a renewable energy investor, has earmarked over £110M (approximately €127M) on behalf of its Sky fund (ORI SCSp) for Manchester-based public EV charging network Be.EV.
Be.EV will use the funds to scale and install 1000 new charge points across the North of England and beyond by 2024. As a result, this move will increase the EV firm’s charge point coverage by over 600 per cent.
The announcement comes a couple of months after launching a new €220M renewables fund called Octopus Energy Development Partnership (OEDP).
Octopus Energy already supplies all of Be.EV chargers with 100 per cent green electricity. This deal marks the next step in Octopus Energy Group’s EV advancement.
Under the Electric Universe, EV drivers are provided with 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 join Electric Universe alongside the 460+ other charging networks on the platform.
Further, public EV charge points are currently unevenly distributed in the UK, skewed towards London. The company, which already operates Greater Manchester’s public EV charging network, aims to address this imbalance using Octopus backing.
This latest deal will support the 456,000 EVs on UK roads today, says Be.EV.
Be.EV says it 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: What you need to know
Octopus Energy Group (OEG) was launched in 2016 by co-founders Greg Jackson, James Eddison, and Stuart Jackson. The company claims to use the latest technology to enable the delivery of green energy and transform customer experiences.
It is part of Octopus Group, which is a certified BCorp. The company’s domestic energy arm serves its customers with cheaper and greener power through Octopus Energy, M&S Energy, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power, and Co-op Energy.
Matt Setchell, co-head of Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team, says, “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.”
Be.EV: What you need to know
Be.EV is the EV charging network across Greater Manchester to make charging simple, reliable, and effortless. The company is also planning to develop ‘On The Go’ Green Oasis Hubs and destination charging that bring genuine benefits to everyone in the region.
Asif Ghafoor, CEO, and co-founder of Be.EV says, “Everybody, not just the wealthy, must be able to switch to electric cars, but currently, people who live outside London or in less affluent areas are underserved by public EV charging. For example, you can’t charge at home if you live in a flat or terrace. This investment addresses that imbalance and helps kickstart a national infrastructure effort that, for once, doesn’t start in London.”
He adds, “The backing from Octopus 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 communities can be proud of, reinventing charging locations as green neighborhood 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.”