£120 million pledged for the expansion of electric vehicle fleets
The investment is to provide financing for batteries to bypass the constraints of the grid, charging infrastructure, the batteries on the vehicles as well as electric vehicles themselves.
Zenobe Energy has announced the launch of up to £120 million of funding to accelerate the rollout of commercial electric vehicle fleets such as buses and the supporting infrastructure.
The government’s £48 million Ultra-Low Emission Bus scheme (ULEB), announced in February 2019, highlighted the huge demand from local authorities and bus and fleet operators to transition to electric vehicles. This is the first time a private company has helped to fill that gap, with an aim to help eliminate pollution in our cities, towns and rural areas.
Coming at a time when the transport sector is the largest contributor of CO2 and NOx emissions, the fund will significantly speed up the process of bringing zero-emission electric vehicles onto our roads, helping to improve air quality and to meet the carbon reduction targets.
The funding will provide a range of solutions which include the upfront financing for local authorities, OEMs, and bus and other fleet operators.
The funding from Zenobe will significantly reduce the upfront cost associated with zero-emission electric buses, not only making the price similar to that of diesel buses but also lowering the total lifecycle cost by as much as 30 per cent in some cases. Zenobe Energy will work with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to ensure all projects are zero-emission and are compatible with the standards set in the government’s recent ULEB scheme.
The funding can be used alongside grants from the ULEB scheme: council funding for buses has almost halved since 2010, so these schemes are critical in helping to plug this gap, connect communities and improve air quality.
Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, said: “We’re thrilled to announce the Zenobe comprehensive funding solution which helps local councils and commercial fleet operators bring forward the rollout of zero-emission vehicles by several years. We can enable local authorities and operators to access a faster, cheaper and lower-risk way to transition to EVs. We’re calling on organisations to work with us and provide the public with emission-free transport.”
Jonathan Murray, Policy and Operations Director at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, leading the UK Government-sponsored EV Energy Task Force initiative, said: “Many bus operators are looking to electrify their vehicles and are a key part of efforts to decarbonise road transport and improve air quality in some of our most polluted areas. Buses require a lot of energy and this creates challenges – and opportunities – for the electricity grid.
“This initiative from Zenobe Energy should be an important enabler of efforts on the part of vehicle operators to switch to zero emission vehicles, whilst making the electricity grid smarter and more resilient at the same time.”