Liberty Global Ventures and Zouk Capital announced a joint venture partnership, Liberty Charge, which will roll out on-street residential electric vehicle charging points in the UK.
Zouk is the manager of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), the dedicated fund established by the UK Government in 2019 and backed by HM Treasury to help develop public charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles throughout the UK.
Leveraging Virgin Media’s connectivity network, infrastructure deployment capabilities and trusted relationships with local authorities, the 50:50 joint venture – originally set up as a small incubation initiative within Liberty Global Ventures last year – will focus on providing the under-the-pavement power and communications infrastructure necessary for electric vehicle charging in residential areas.
According to research, more than 40% of urban vehicle owners don’t have access to a driveway they could use to charge an electric vehicle. The venture will provide charge point operators and local authorities with so-called ‘plug and play’ on-street charging facilities in large cities and towns where many residents don’t have access to off-street parking.
The partnership supports Liberty Global’s efforts in this space following on from its Virgin Media Park and Charge (VPACH) project, which aims to deploy 1,200 charging sockets in towns and cities across the country by early 2021. Access to public electric vehicle charging is a key initiative within the UK government’s drive to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Providing on-street residential charging is a core component of Zouk’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund strategy.
Neil Isaacson, who has been leading Liberty Charge’s market development activities, has been appointed CEO of the venture.
Jason Simpson, Vice President Global Energy and Utilities for Liberty Global commented that, the investment from Zouk re-enforces their belief that there is significant value in leveraging Virgin Media’s wide ranging infrastructure and connectivity capabilities into new and fast growing sectors such as eMobility and Energy. Zouk Capital is the perfect partner in this venture thanks to their sector expertise and focus on sustainability. The company is looking forward to working with them to help drive electric vehicle adoption in the UK.
Massimo Resta, Partner at Zouk Capital added that, CIIF’s central objective was to scale open-access, public EV charging networks for the UK consumer and this was exactly what Liberty Charge would achieve for the thousands of car owners, who did not have access to off street parking. Liberty Global’s infrastructure deployment capabilities and Virgin Media’s extensive connectivity network would make it perfectly positioned to rapidly deploy on-street residential charging in UK towns and cities, and the company is excited to be partnering with them on this opportunity.