The UK Treasury’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), which is managed by Zouk Capital, has now reached a total of GBP380 million in signed commitments (against a target of GBP400 million) following a third close. The close was anchored from the private sector by Willis Towers Watson’s clients and investment funds and Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s Climate Impact Fund, with funding matched by HM Treasury. The fund is targeting a final close in early 2021.
Both global leaders in their fields, investment consultant and fund manager Willis Towers Watson and asset manager Morgan Stanley Investment Management further strengthen the impressive list of investors already committed to CIIF. The CIIF is underpinned by the need to rapidly decarbonise the UK’s transport sector and improve air quality, which creates an opportunity to make environmentally impactful financial returns through the creation of large renewable energy powered public EV charging networks.
In 2020 the UK Government twice reduced the deadline for sales of petrol and diesel cars in its goal of reducing net carbon emission to zero by 2050. Supporting the public electric vehicle (EV) charging network is a key initiative within this objective. CIIF is dedicated to catalysing the rollout of a robust and diversified public EV charging infrastructure that is required to support the electrification of vehicles throughout the UK. Two investments have been made from CIIF so far – the first investment was in InstaVolt, which develops, installs, owns and operates rapid EV charging stations in the UK and has plans to bolster UK rapid charge points nationally to 5000. The second, announced in May 2020, was in Liberty Charge, a joint venture between Liberty Global and Zouk Capital, which is rolling out on-street residential charging points throughout the UK for the 40% of households without access to private driveways.
Paul Berriman, global head of TWIM, Willis Towers Watson’s investment fund business, says: “The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund is playing an important role in speeding up the decarbonisation of the UK’s transport industry. This is clearly important from a sustainability perspective, and that also makes it a good investment opportunity for our Partners Fund, the flagship multi-asset portfolio of our best ideas across all asset classes.”
Vikram Raju, Head of Climate Impact, Morgan Stanley Investment Management AIP Private Markets, says: “Accelerating the carbon transition in transportation is a key focus for the Climate Impact strategy at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Through our partnership with the CIIF and Instavolt, we hope to transform significantly the way automobiles in the UK consume fuel and reduce the emissions they generate.”
Samer Salty, Managing Partner Zouk Capital, adds: “In spite of the ongoing challenging business environment, leading global investors continue to be attracted to the long-term fundamentals of CIIF. We are delighted to welcome both Willis Towers Watson and Morgan Stanley Investment Management to the fund, both with strong ESG mandates and both who share in our belief in the commercial opportunity in electric vehicle infrastructure as well as the importance of decarbonisation. Through Willis Towers Watson and Morgan Stanley Investment Management, we now have investments in CIIF from not only the UK and the Middle East, but also from the US, Germany, and Australia.”
Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure and Projects Authority says: “The private sector will play a crucial role in the ambitions to decarbonise our infrastructure and put the UK on the path to NetZero 2050.
“This next investment into the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, alongside the recently launched National Infrastructure Strategy, reaffirms our commitment to working with the private sector, to make these newer technologies available for everyone across the country.”