Electric vehicle charging network Be.EV has announced a debt raise of £55 million from NatWest and German KfW IPEX-Bank.

The landmark deal between the high street, German bank and the national charge point operator comes as Octopus Energy Generation continues its commitment to Manchester-based Be.EV, with further funding allocated as part of the £110m cash injection announced in 2022.

Octopus’ investment was made on behalf of the Sky fund (ORI SCSp) it manages, which has a majority stake in Be.EV.

The funds will be used to drive the expansion of Be.EV’s charging network, which is on track to operate more than 1,000 publicly accessible rapid and ultra-rapid charge points nationwide by the end of 2024.

The expansion will serve communities across the UK who don’t have access to rapid and ultra-rapid charging. The majority of chargers the new money will support will be ultra-rapid – technology that can charge a typical EV to 80% in 20 minutes.

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The funds will also help Be.EV to cement its foothold in Manchester and the North West, where it has already installed more than 600 charge points for the 1 million registered plug-in vehicles in the region.

These chargers are accessible to all members of the public, with the 35,000 Be.EV members able to charge their EVs at discounted rates. The chargers will be powered by renewable energy from Octopus Energy.

Be.EV charger

There are currently only 5,336 locations in the UK that offer rapid and ultra-rapid charging, which currently serve over one million EVs. Most of these are located within the M25, and Be.EV is on a mission to make EV charging accessible to local communities across the country.

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“The financing from NatWest and KfW IPEX-Bank serves as a huge vote of confidence in our mission to provide reliable ultra-rapid charging to communities that have been left behind by the transition to electric vehicles,” said Asif Ghafoor, CEO.

“This sizeable commitment from NatWest and KfW and the continued support from Octopus Energy Generation paves the way for future investments in the industry, which ultimately benefits the EV driving community and helps the government’s ‘zero-emission vehicles by 2035’ mandate.

“It proves that investors, both domestic and international, are confident in the UK’s transition to EVs and its importance in transitioning to a net zero economy.”

Bruce Riley, managing director and head of energy transition at NatWest, said: “We are determined to play an active role in the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy and accelerating the take up of electric vehicles is a crucial part of the transition. 

“We are delighted to have supported Be.EV with this financing which will drive the growth of its UK public charging network.”

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