Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has become the first investor in the UK government's $494-million Charging Infrastructure Fund (CIIF) to develop the UK's electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The CIIF is managed by London-based Zouk Capital, which aims to raise half the investment, $247 million, from the private sector.
Masdar's $86 million investment will be allocated to create 3,000 new rapid charge points, more than doubling the number of rapid charge points across the UK by 2024.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO, Masdar, said: “As one of the cornerstone investors into the CIIF, working alongside the UK's Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Zouk Capital, we hope to encourage closer collaboration between government and the private sector in promoting the wider use of electric vehicles and green transport in the UK, UAE, and other counties. Our investment in the CIIF builds on our track record of successful partnerships in the UK, where we are an investor in two of the world's largest wind farms, the world's first utility-scale floating wind park, smart battery storage, and ongoing research and development into next-generation clean technologies. We also aim to build on the nearly 10 years of experience we have acquired in realising sustainable mobility solutions at Masdar City, our home in Abu Dhabi."
The UK already has one of the largest electric vehicle charging networks in Europe. Rapid charge points can recharge a family car in as little as 20 minutes, compared to existing technology which can take 40 minutes, making the reality of driving electric vehicles easier and more accessible for people across the country. A review is currently underway to explore the provision of charge points across major road networks, meaning drivers could charge their car whilst stopping for a coffee at a service station.
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, UK, said: "It’s fantastic there is already a rapid charge point at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations. But I want to see thousands more charge points installed across the UK. This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smart phone."
Samer Salty, managing partner, Zouk Capital said: "The electric vehicle market is currently one of the most dynamic and exciting growth areas to be involved in. In partnership with HM Treasury, the Infrastructure Projects Authority and Masdar, CIIF is an exciting platform backing this nascent sector whilst offering both strong commercial returns and support for the UK government's net zero carbon objectives.”