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Zenobē secures up to £241m in 'first of its kind' debt structure to grow EV sector presence

The new structure takes total debt finance support from financial institutions to over £300 million. Image: Zenobē Energy

The new structure takes total debt finance support from financial institutions to over £300 million. Image: Zenobē Energy

Zenobē Energy has established a multi-source debt structure of £241 million to fund capital investment into e-buses and charging infrastructure.

The funding platform – which Zenobē said is the first of its kind – was advised and structured by NatWest, which has previously provided funding to Zenobē to help grow its electric vehicle (EV) activities.

The funding package is to support Zenobē’s turnkey fleet electrification offering, which it launched in May 2019.

The offering includes financing for charging infrastructure, stationary battery storage located in bus depots for overcoming grid constraints, batteries on the vehicles and the vehicles themselves.

The new debt structure comprises long-dated term financing, including from UK private placement institutions Aviva and Scottish Widows, alongside a shorter-term facility provided by six banks, these being Lloyds, MUFG, NatWest, Santander, Siemens and Sociētē Gēnērale.

"This innovative funding structure marks the coming of age of structured finance solutions for fleet electrification, and signifies substantial growth for our business, allowing us to accelerate the rollout of electric buses across the UK," Nicholas Beatty, founder director, Zenobē Energy, said.

The debt structure will also be used to raise additional financing over time to broaden Zenobē’s funder base as it expands its fleet activities in the UK and Ireland.

Currently, Zenobē has 175MW of operational and contracted storage assets and 394 electric vehicle (EV) buses, equivalent to an estimated 25% market share of the UK operational EV bus sector.

The company said it works with all major bus operators in the UK, including Arriva, Abellio, McGills, National Express and Stagecoach as well as local authority-owned bus companies.

In 2020, Zenobē installed charging infrastructure and two Tesla batteries in Leeds to allow nine Yutong E10 electric buses to charge, with these buses the result of a multi-million pound investment by First Bus in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council.

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