Octopus Energy Generation has backed the Be.EV charging network with an initial investment of up to £110m. Be.EV is set to install 1,000 new EV charge points by 2024, starting in Manchester.
This deal marks a further development for Octopus’ EV roaming service Electric Universe. Under the Electric Universe, EV drivers are provided 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 over 460 other charging networks on the platform.
The fund management company hopes this investment will promote a 600% network expansion as part of its Sky fund, starting in Manchester. 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.
“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,” said Matt Setchell, co-head of Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team.
Public EV charge points are currently unevenly distributed in the UK, with the majority centred in and around London.Be.EV, which already operates Greater Manchester’s largest public EV charging network, will use Octopus backing to address this imbalance. It says its infrastructure model builds concentrated, community-based charging networks where they’re most needed to ensure equitable access to public chargers and instil confidence in the transition to electrification.
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,” adding, “This investment addresses that imbalance and helps kickstart a national infrastructure effort that, for once, doesn’t start in London.”
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. Octopus says it has further deals outside of renewable generation assets already in the pipeline.