£120m funding from Zenobe to speed up roll-out of commercial EVs
Battery storage company Zenobe Energy has announced the launch of up to £120 million to help local authorities and bus operators to take-up electric commercial vehicles and buses, as well as the supporting infrastructure.
The government’s £48 million Ultra-Low Emission Bus scheme (ULEB), announced in February this year, highlighted the demand from local authorities and bus and fleet operators to transition to electric vehicles. This is the first time a private company has helped to fill that gap. Zenobe is inviting organisations to get in touch with electric vehicle fleet projects now.
Zenobe can provide a range of solutions which includes the upfront financing for local authorities, OEMs, and bus and other fleet operators. Depending on requirements, the company will own and operate batteries in the depot, smart charging infrastructure and the batteries on the vehicles. This will give customers the option of an end-to-end, one-stop solution in exchange for a pence per-mile service fee or a fixed monthly charge.
The Zenobe solution will significantly reduce the upfront cost associated with zero emission buses, not only making the price similar to diesel buses but also lowering the total lifecycle cost by as much as 30% in some cases. Zenobe Energy will work with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to ensure all projects are zero emission and are compatible with the standards set in the government’s recent ULEB scheme.
The Zenobe EV scheme can be used alongside grants from the ULEB scheme. With council funding for buses almost halving since 2010, these schemes are critical in helping to plug this gap, connect communities and improve air quality.
Steven Meersman, co-founder of Zenobe Energy, said: “We’re thrilled to announce the Zenobe comprehensive funding solution which helps local councils and commercial fleet operators bring forward the rollout of zero-emission vehicles by several years. Using our solutions, we can enable local authorities and operators to access a faster, cheaper and lower-risk way to transition to EVs. We’re calling on organisations to work with us and provide the public with emission-free transport and last-mile deliveries now.”
Jonathan Murray, Policy and Operations Director at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, leading the UK Government-sponsored EV Energy Task Force initiative said: "Many bus operators are looking to electrify their vehicles and are a key part of efforts to decarbonise road transport and improve air quality in some of our most polluted areas. Buses require a lot of energy and this creates challenges – and opportunities - for the electricity grid.
“This initiative from Zenobe Energy should be an important enabler of efforts on the part of vehicle operators to switch to zero emission vehicles, whilst making the electricity grid smarter and more resilient at the same time.”