Aviva Investors provides £65 million in debt financing to UK electric fleet specialist Zenobē

(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, announces it has completed the provision of two new debt tranches totalling £65 million to Zenobē Energy Ltd (“Zenobē”), the international provider of end-to-end solutions in fleet electrification and battery storage.

The two loan portions, made on behalf of third-party clients and Aviva UK Life, follow a previous £50 million debt facility provided by Aviva Investors in February 2022 and make the asset manager the largest lender to Zenobē’s EV fleet business. It also continues Aviva Investors’ efforts to invest in opportunities which reflect Aviva’s commitment to supporting communities across the UK in helping them get ready for the future.

The funding will help Zenobē fund near-term contracts relating to the leasing of e-buses to UK bus operators and associated charging infrastructure, as it continues to expand the number of electric vehicles and charging equipment in its network. The company is currently aiming to deliver 4,000 electric buses, trucks and commercial vehicles on the road by 2026, including a £140 million project to deliver 130 new double-decker zero emission all-electric buses in Coventry, built in Falkirk.

Zenobē owns and operates over a quarter of the UK’s electric bus fleet, with a portfolio of more than 1,000 vehicles globally. The buses are leased to operators, with the majority of the fleet being provided alongside charging infrastructure at operator depots. It is also a UK market leader in battery storage with more than 730 MW of grid scale battery capacity either operational or under construction, making it one of the largest battery portfolio operators in the UK.

The financing follows two investments made by Aviva Investors into electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across the UK and Ireland, investing up to £110 million in Connected Kerb in 2022, to support the delivery of 190,000 on-street EV chargers in the UK by 2030, and a €30 million investment with Erapid in 2023 to expand its network of over 4,000 EV charging points in 1,500 locations across Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Darryl Murphy, Managing Director, Infrastructure Debt, at Aviva Investors, said:

“As one of the largest investors in UK real estate and infrastructure, we understand the important role of private capital in developing its national infrastructure, particularly projects which support the decarbonisation of transport networks. Although the market for battery electric buses has developed rapidly into a leading zero emission technology, there is an undersupply of E-buses nationally. As such, we are pleased to have completed this financing which will help Zenobē continue its roll-out of EV buses, whilst also complementing the UK’s own zero emission schemes and delivering investment returns to UK retirement savers.”

Marcus Mollan, Investment Director at Aviva, added:

“We continue to focus our investment activity on supporting UK infrastructure for the long-term; helping enable communities across the nation to get ready for the future. By working closely with Aviva Investors, we’re able to provide financing for important sustainable transport solutions, like Zenobē, that benefit wider society whilst also providing investments which support retirement incomes for our customers.”

Nicholas Beatty, Co-Founder, Zenobē, commented:

“We are committed to financing and delivering innovative and reliable electric fleet and energy storage solutions for our customers. This milestone is not just a win for Zenobē but marks a significant leap forward in the movement toward a clean, low-carbon transportation sector in the UK. This follows the debt financing to support construction of two of our major grid scale batteries in Scotland, completed in January. The faith and innovation shown by our financial partners affirms the maturing of these asset classes and the sustainability and resilience of our business model.”

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Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The business delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors operates in 14 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom with £227 billion in assets under management as at 31 December 2023.

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