Octopus Energy Generation, one of Europe’s largest renewable energy investors, has allocated up to £110 million in funding to grow Manchester-based public EV charging network Be.EV across the UK.
The deal will help grow Be.EV’s public charge point network sixfold from 150 chargers at present by a further 1,000 charge points across the North of England and beyond by 2024. Octopus Energy already supplies all of Be.EV chargers with 100% green electricity.
Data shows that 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.
Be.EV’s business 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.
Matt Setchell, co-head of Octopus Energy Generation’s fund management team: “Our first foray into funding EV charging infrastructure is a significant milestone. As a nation, we need to rapidly build more EV charge points to meet the growing number of drivers going electric.”
Department for Transport Electric Vehicle charging device statistics from January 2022 show how London has the highest level of charging provision per 100,000 of population, at 102. For comparison, the north-west has just 24 for every 100,000 people.
Asif Ghafoor, CEO and co-founder of Be.EV, said: “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.”
He continued: “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.”