KKR & Infracapital Invest £870m to Electrify Fleets
KKR and Co
Zenobē has successfully secured an investment of approximately £600 million from KKR, a renowned global investment firm.
Additionally, an extra sum of around £270 million in equity has been contributed by Infracapital, an existing shareholder. Upon the completion of this transaction, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, KKR and Infracapital will emerge as joint majority stakeholders in Zenobē. Notably, Jera and TEPCO Power Grid will retain their positions as minority, strategic shareholders within the company.
This substantial investment is poised to inject fresh vigour into Zenobē's endeavours, specifically in the expansion of their fleet electrification and grid-scale battery storage ventures. This strategic move aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of fleet transportation and bolster the adoption of renewable energy sources.
In a significant development announced in November 2022, Zenobē unveiled a £750 million investment initiative directed at three sizable battery storage projects in Scotland.
These projects, boasting a collective capacity of 1 gigawatt (GW) of storage, will play a pivotal role in grid stabilisation, ensuring energy availability during critical periods. These initiatives are scheduled for completion between 2024 and 2026. Additionally, Zenobē made waves by collaborating with Transgrid and Transit Systems to inaugurate Australia's largest all-electric bus depot in Leichhardt, near Sydney, in 2022.
Zenobē's growth trajectory has been impressive in the electric vehicle (EV) fleet sector, with the company achieving a significant milestone by initiating over 50 electric fleet electrification projects worldwide.
In November 2022, the deployment of the first 50 all-electric National Express buses in Coventry, powered by Zenobē's Electric Transport-as-a-Service (ETaaS) solution, marked a pivotal moment. This figure is projected to surge to 130 e-buses by the end of the year. ETaaS encompasses various services, such as on-board battery replacements, depot charging infrastructure with rapid chargers, and a software platform for energy optimisation, in addition to parts and operational support.
Presently, Zenobē provides support to over 1,000 electric buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles globally, with deployments spanning more than 75 depots, from the UK's Glasgow and Coventry to Australia's Sydney and Melbourne. The company's ambitious goal is to extend its support to 4,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2026.
The role of grid-scale battery storage is pivotal in preventing renewable energy wastage, and Zenobē currently operates around 430 megawatts (MW) of contracted grid-scale battery storage in the UK, including its noteworthy 100MW battery storage facility in Capenhurst, Cheshire.
The recent infusion of equity investment will empower Zenobē to expedite its efforts, encompassing the construction of two additional battery storage sites in Scotland at Kilmarnock South and Eccles.
Moreover, this investment will facilitate the expansion of the company's battery storage asset at Blackhillock, which is aimed at integrating wind power resources into the grid.
Zenobē is on a mission to commission approximately 1.2 GW of storage in the UK by 2026 while concurrently pursuing the development of an additional 2.5 GW of battery energy storage assets in North America and Australia by 2030.
Nicholas Beatty, Co-founder and Director of Zenobē, emphasised the pivotal role of batteries in our future transport and energy systems. He highlighted their immediate availability and significance in optimising the use of renewable electricity, thereby making cleaner and more affordable power accessible. As fleet operators transition to electric vehicles, batteries, coupled with software and data insights, offer a proven solution to optimise fleets while achieving zero emissions.
Alberto Signori, Partner, European Infrastructure at KKR, expressed enthusiasm for supporting a leader in transport decarbonisation and battery storage. He recognised the crucial role these sectors play in driving the transition to a net-zero world, given the growing emphasis on stricter emission regulations and increased utilisation of low-carbon energy sources.
Andy Matthews, Head of Greenfield at Infracapital, echoed the sentiments of shared excitement and commitment as joint shareholders in Zenobē, emphasising their journey of innovation and expansion in battery storage and transportation sectors since their initial investment in 2020.
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Source: Sustainable Bus