Infrastructure fund manager Zouk Capital has been named as the preferred bidder for the government’s much-vaunted EV Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).
The £400 million fund – half of which will be raised from the private sector and matched by the UK government – was announced in the 2017 Autumn Budget amongst a raft of other measures designed to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK.
The CIIF was launched in a bid to both enable the more rapid expansion of public EV charging networks and to stimulate further capital investment in the sector, with the government aiming for the fund to act as a catalyst for further investment.
A bidding process was launched by HM Treasury’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority last summer, inviting tenders from investment managers to be tasked with either the entire CIIF or a section of it.
The detailed tender process was initially expected to have concluded before the end of last year, however Current± reported in December that the level of interest in the fund had seen the IPA nudge the awarding of the contract into the New Year.
However, having now elected Zouk Capital as the preferred bidder, it is still expected that, subject to negotiations, the fund will launch in the spring.
C± understands that no further details surrounding the bidding process, including the number of participants, are to be disclosed by the IPA due to commercial sensitivity.
The fund is to be invested in by UK companies and platforms that comprise “all elements” of public EV Charging infrastructure with the ultimate aim of delivering attractive returns for both HMG and its private sector investors.
Exchequer secretary to the Treasury Robert Jenrick described the announcement as a “crucial step” in the government’s environmental plans.
“We want to increase the number of electric cars on our roads, but to achieve this we need to ensure drivers have access to the right infrastructure, including charge points.
“That’s why the Chancellor announced £400 million of investment to make this a reality, revolutionising the way we travel, creating jobs and protecting our natural environment for future generations.”
Samer Salty, managing partner at Zouk Capital, said the CIIF placed the UK government at the international forefront of supporting EV ecosystems.
"This fund will build a lasting public EV charging network that runs on clean energy, is fully open access and highly reliable to meet the needs of EV drivers today and give those yet to join the EV revolution the confidence to do so,” he said.