Triodos Bank has moved into the electric vehicle (EV) space, providing a loan to charging company Pod Point.
The debt facility – the amount of which was not disclosed – is to help finance the rollout of chargers at 600 Tesco stores, alongside funding from Tesco and Volkswagen.
The partnership between Tesco, Pod Point and Volkswagen was first announced in November 2018, with 2,400 chargers set to be installed, operated and maintained by Pod Point.
The 7kW chargers are capable of displaying advertising, allowing customers to charge for free. Some sites are also to have 50kW rapid chargers, which will be priced in line with market rates, Pod Point said.
The lending from Triodos for this project is in line with its mission to deliver a positive environmental impact and address the climate emergency, it said, and the bank has a history of financing renewable energy projects.
The new lending facility is part of its ongoing strategy to broaden its financing focus from predominantly renewable generation projects to supporting the transition towards 100% smart clean energy systems, the wider decarbonisation of the economy and enhancing the natural capital, it said.
“Given our focus on sustainable and responsible finance, it is fundamental to Triodos to support projects, such as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which help us transition to a low-carbon, clean future,” Philip Bazin, head of the environment team at Triodos Bank UK, said.
“We need the vision and capabilities of pioneering companies like Pod Point and mainstream businesses like Tesco wanting to deliver the change in our transport infrastructure that we need to see.”
Pod Point, meanwhile, was recently bought out by a joint venture consisting of EDF and Legal & General, with EDF holding the majority stake.
Last week, the charging company announced it had signed a preferred supplier agreement with manufacturer Tritium for its 50kW rapid chargers.
Erik Fairbairn, CEO and founder of Pod Point, said Triodos shares Pod Point’s vision of a world where travel “doesn’t damage the earth” and is a bank that can help achieve the company’s mission of putting a chargepoint “everywhere you park”.
“We are witnessing a pivotal moment for the UK’s rapidly expanding public charging network,” Fairbairn added.
Alongside EV chargers, Tesco is also rolling out rooftop solar across 187 of its sites, as well as having plans for a ground-mounted solar farm and five onshore wind farms.