Abundance Investment, the UK ethical investment crowdfunding platform, has launched an offer to fund the roll out of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure throughout the Greater Manchester area, with Iduna Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure plc (Iduna).
Iduna is raising £4 million through an offer of 5-year secured debentures – regulated and tradable bonds – which pay 9% p.a. interest over the life of the investment to finance the installation of 50 new EV chargers in Greater Manchester, delivered in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Transport sector accounts for a third of UK carbon emissions
The UK transport sector accounts for a third of UK carbon emissions, most of which is road transport, and the government has brought forward the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030 in efforts to tackle that.
One of the major barriers to EV adoption is ‘range anxiety’, which will need to be addressed if the UK is to meet its NetZero ambitions. A visible and accessible public charging network will therefore be a major support for the switch to electric driving, and one which will need to grow 20 fold in the next decade to keep pace with the expected arrival of more than 10m EV’s on our roads.
Greater Manchester has a strategy to be a carbon neutral region by 2038. As part of this, TfGM’s aim is that half of all journeys are made using public and active transport (walking and cycling) by 2040. Currently Greater Manchester residents make 1.2 billion car journeys every year, which must be reduced and decarbonised.
Availability of off-street parking for home charging is low, so increasing the number of public chargers will be vital to achieving this goal. Greater Manchester currently lags behind the national average for EV adoption, but Iduna’s investment aims to solve the major barrier to adoption of range anxiety and fast/rapid charger accessibility.
“Greater Manchester is taking the lead on rethinking the way its citizens travel around their city, which will require changes of behaviour but also investment in infrastructure to encourage and enable everyone to choose green alternatives,” said Bruce Davis, co-founder and Managing Director, Abundance investment. “To realise the potential for electric cars as part of that overall strategy we need to invest in innovative companies like Iduna who are creating a well-designed charging network to support the shift away from fossil fuel powered vehicles.”
Asif Ghafoor, CEO, Iduna, said:
Iduna chargers will run on renewable power from Octopus Energy
The proceeds of the investment will fund 50 new fast or rapid public EV charge points at high-traffic locations across Greater Manchester, selected in partnership with TfGM to ensure maximum usage. The chargers will run on 100% renewable electricity supplied by Octopus Energy. This is the first phase of Iduna’s programme to build 160+ charging points in the city by the end of 2022.
“The electric vehicle revolution is now firmly upon us.,” explained Asif Ghafoor, CEO of Iduna. “We believe that many people want to play an active role in the climate change challenges we all face and will embrace the tools that will make a positive difference. Our aim is to accelerate the delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure using the latest charging technology, data analytics and experienced supply chain partners. We are starting with Greater Manchester, one of the first cities to recognise the climate emergency and well placed to become a leading light in the UK’s transition to low carbon transport.”
Iduna Infrastructure Limited has acquired Amey Map Services which already delivers and manages public funded chargers on behalf of TfGM. These are operated under the brand Be.EV, an open network of pay-as-you-go chargers with an optional membership scheme. There are approximately 130 chargers currently in the network, making it the region’s largest provider of public charging capability. The new chargers funded by this investment will also be operated under the Be.EV brand, which Iduna aims to develop into a unified and market-leading network across Greater Manchester.
“Change won’t come overnight but it will come through a targeted and well-planned deployment of readily available chargers, encompassing a range of different types across a variety of locations,” added Ghafoor. “Providing top-up charging, through our fast and rapid chargers in a focused region such as Greater Manchester, will be an important part of this charger ecosystem, and is part of Iduna’s broader business strategy to deliver a positive impact on communities by backing green infrastructure.”
The investment offer will be backed by revenues from electricity sales, and advertising at the sites. As with all Abundance investments the minimum investment is just £5, and it is eligible to be held in an innovative finance ISA and pension.