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Government EV charging fund to kick off with Masdar-backed spend to double rapid charging network

A rapid charging hub owned and operated by BP Chargemaster. Image: BP Chargemaster.

A rapid charging hub owned and operated by BP Chargemaster. Image: BP Chargemaster.

The UK government has formally unveiled its new £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), boasting a maiden investment from UAE renewables investment group Masdar.

That investment, provided by both the government and Masdar, is valued at £70 million and will be used to more than double the UK’s rapid charge point infrastructure over the next five years.

It’s intended that the investment will take the number of rapid chargers installed in the UK to 5,000, of which 2,000 are already installed.

The CIIF was first announced in July 2018, prompting a lengthy search for a fund manager. Zouk Capital was then announced as the government’s preferred bidder in February this year, and has now been formally handed the reins to the CIIF.

Speaking to Current± after that news, Zouk senior partner Colin Campbell said its fundamental interest would remain in charging networks and EV charging technologies.

Government has also today announced a review to explore EV charge point infrastructure across major road networks, which is aimed to educate investment destinations.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said that while there is already a rapid chargepoint at almost every motorway service station in the UK, he wanted to see “thousands more” installed.

“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,” he said.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, otherwise known as Masdar, said that the announcement built on its existing track record of successful partnerships in the UK, which includes investments in floating wind, battery storage and R&D.

“As one of the cornerstone investors into the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, 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 – here in the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and other counties,” he said.

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