The government has matched a £40m investment anchored by the Church Comissioners for England, bringing the fund's total deployable capital to £150m.
Sustainable investment specialist Zouk Capital has announced it has raised £80m in the second close of the state-backed Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).
The Church Commissioners for England acted as anchor for the latest funding round, as private investors delivered £40m that was then matched by the Treasury. The move brings total investment in the CIIF to £150m, following the £35m raised from UAE renewables investor Masdar in the fund's inaugural close last September, which was also matched by the government.
Samer Salty, managing partner at Zouk Capital, said the deal represented a further vote of confidence in the UK's electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure plans. "Despite the unprecedented world in which we all live now as a result of Covid-19, we see no shortage of investors who believe in the long-term fundamentals of CIIF," he said. "The CIIF is underpinned by the need to rapidly decarbonise the UK's transport sector and improve air quality, which creates an opportunity to make environmentally impactful financial returns through the creation of these large renewable energy powered public EV charging networks."
The fund, which aims to catalyse the rollout of a "robust and diversified public EV charging infrastructure", was first announced in the autumn budget of 2017 and is seen as a crucial component of the government's vehicle electrification strategy. Administration of the fund was awarded to Zouk Capital in early 2019.
The partners intend to mobilise £400m of funds in total, with £200m raised from the private sector to then be matched by the government. Zouk said it has so far signed commitments worth £275m.
Matthew Vickerstaff, deputy chief executive officer at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said the transaction was an "endorsement" of the CIIF model, which sees government and industry working in partnership to deliver net zero emission infrastructure.
"Increasing access to private finance for those companies delivering EV charging points across the UK is key to meeting society's future needs," he said.
The model has, however, courted controversy in some quarters. The fund's maiden investment in rapid charging point developer InstaVolt garnered criticism from the Labour party, who said Zouk Capital's position as a major shareholder in Instavolt raised potential conflicts of interest.
Instavolt intends to use the investment to roll-out 5,000 charging points across the UK, delivering a major boost to the fast-expanding EV infrastructure industry.
Chris West, head of indirect property, timber, land, and infrastructure for the Church Commissioners for England, which manages an £8.3bn fund, said the latest transaction "is aligned with our goal of achieving a net zero emissions portfolio through driving down carbon emissions in the real economy and speeding the energy transition".
The investment comes as its sister investment fund, the Church of England Pensions Board, fronts a global effort by major investors to get mining companies for the first time ever to publicly disclose information about their tailings, or waste, facilities, following a string of high-profile and fatal dam collapses.
No one knows how the oil price crash and coronavirus crisis will play out for the green economy, but the stakes could not be higher
Low oil price likely to stick around for some time prompting fundamental change to energy investment that could accelerate net zero, experts suggest
Just days after Austria completed its coal power phase out, Sweden follows suit with closure of Stockholm plant
Firm founded by ex-marketing director of Hello Fresh says onus is on startups to encourage sustainable consumption.