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September 11, 2023

Zenobē Charges Ahead with £600M Investment to Drive Electric Revolution

Commitment to Sustainability, UK's EV Revolution Sparks Surge in Battery Tech Investments

In the race toward a greener future, the United Kingdom is steering toward a bold ambition: a ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035. This monumental shift is fueling a surge in the electric vehicle (EV) market and propelling investments in battery technology startups. Leading the charge is Zenobē, a renowned EV fleet and battery storage specialist from the UK, which has secured a substantial £600 million investment from global investment firm KKR. Adding to this electrifying boost, existing shareholder Infracapital has injected an additional £270 million in equity. Together, KKR and Infracapital will become joint majority shareholders in Zenobē, while Jera and TEPCO Power Grid will continue as minority strategic partners.

Zenobē, renowned for its expertise in battery storage and fleet electrification, is poised for transformation. This strategic partnership will leverage KKR's invaluable expertise and global network to accelerate Zenobē's growth across the UK, North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. With a focus on fleet electrification and grid-scale battery storage, the influx of capital will expedite the shift toward decarbonizing fleet transportation and promoting the adoption of renewable energy sources.

The equity investment will be pivotal in scaling up Zenobē's support for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. By 2026, the company aims to empower 4,000 electric buses, trucks, and commercial vehicles to hit the road, further propelling the electric revolution.

This substantial equity injection will supercharge Zenobē's expansion plans, including establishing two new battery storage facilities in Scotland, specifically at Kilmarnock South and Eccles. Simultaneously, it will fortify the capacity of the company's existing battery storage asset at Blackhillock, reinforcing its commitment to integrating wind power resources into the grid. Zenobē sets an ambitious target of commissioning approximately 1.2GW of storage capacity in the United Kingdom by 2026. Moreover, this investment paves the way for the company's plans to cultivate an additional 2.5GW of battery energy storage assets in North America and Australia by 2030.

Nicholas Beatty, Co-founder and Director of Zenobē, "Securing substantial further equity is a significant vote of confidence in our business, its achievements to date and future aims. KKR provides Zenobē with a leading international strategic partner to support our expansion plans into North America, Europe and Australasia, and other markets. It supports our ability to raise further debt funding for these plans. It is also an acknowledgment that boosting battery storage and clean transport is just common sense to help us reach net zero."

Alberto Signori, Partner, European Infrastructure at KKR, highlights the pivotal role of Zenobē in transport decarbonization and battery storage. "We believe Zenobē will continue to benefit from strong secular tailwinds, including stricter emission regulation in urban and regional areas, and the greater use of low carbon generation in the energy mix driving a need for grid balancing solutions. We see significant growth opportunities within Zenobē’s existing customer base, as well as huge potential in new markets globally."

Andy Matthews, Head of Greenfield at Infracapital, underscores their dedication to Zenobē's sustainable solutions. "This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone for the business and fulfills our confidence in its ability to continue to play a leading role in sustainable solutions. We look forward to contributing our expertise and resources to support Zenobē’s further success on a global scale, while creating long-term value for our investors."

Founded in 2017 by James Basden, Nicholas Beatty, and Steven Meersman, Zenobē has earned its stripes as the largest independent owner and operator of battery storage in the UK. Catering to major operators like National Express, Stagecoach, and Transit Systems, Zenobē has emerged as a trusted industry partner, transforming battery and fleet electrification services into a reality. With a commanding 25% market share in the UK EV bus sector and over 1,000 electric vehicles deployed worldwide, Zenobē proudly claims the title of the world's largest owner and operator of EV buses.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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