Triodos Bank UK has provided its first finance to support the development of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure with a loan to Pod Point, one of the UK’s largest providers of electric vehicle charging. Driven by the belief that travel shouldn’t damage the earth, Pod Point is pioneering electric mobility by building a network of smart EV charging points that are easily accessible for drivers.
Alongside funding from Tesco and Volkswagen, the debt facility will help hundreds of EV charge points to be supplied, operated and maintained by Pod Point at 600 Tesco stores. The new points will include 7kW media chargers capable of displaying advertising on a screen, from which customers will be able to charge for free. Some sites will also have 50kW rapid chargers priced in line with market rates.
The Pod Point partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen, announced in 2018, effectively created a new, sponsorship-based business model for EV charging. Tesco itself has set a goal to increase its business-wide energy sourcing from 65% renewables in 2020 to 100% in 2030, as part of its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.
By supporting the transition towards the decarbonisation of transport, this lending from Triodos, Europe’s leading sustainable bank, is firmly aligned to the bank’s mission to deliver positive environmental impact and address the climate emergency.
Philip Bazin, head of the environment team at Triodos Bank UK, 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. The transport sector now has the highest greenhouse gas emissions of any industry in the UK, with passenger car road transport accounting for over 50% of these emissions. 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.”
Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point CEO & Founder said: “We are witnessing a pivotal moment for the UK’s rapidly expanding public charging network. Through our partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen we are rolling out smart, easy-to-use chargepoints at a scale that is going to accelerate EV adoption in ways we haven’t seen before and make it easier than ever for drivers to go electric. In Triodos, we’ve found a bank that shares our vision of a world where travel doesn’t damage the earth and who can help us achieve our mission to put a chargepoint everywhere you park.”
Energy company EDF recently acquired a majority stake in Pod Point, as part of a newly formed joint venture with Legal & General Capital. EDF’s ambition is to become Europe’s leading e-mobility energy company by 2022.
EDF already offers one of the most competitive low-carbon electric vehicle tariffs, ‘Go Electric’, which gives people the chance to lease an electric vehicle while getting lower off-peak electricity rates. With the acquisition of Pod Point, it will be able to provide further charging solutions to a wider audience.
Triodos has long been committed to financing renewable energy, which is the European group’s largest portfolio, with a total exposure of €2.25 billion at the end of 2018. This new lending facility is part of its ongoing strategy to broaden its financing focus from mainly renewable energy generation projects to supporting the transition towards 100% smart clean energy systems, the wider decarbonisation of our economy and protecting and enhancing our natural capital.