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TLT advises Triodos on funding for supermarket EV charge points

TLT has advised Triodos Bank UK on its first finance to support the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVCI) with a loan to Pod Point, one of the largest providers of EVCI in the UK.

Alongside funding from Tesco and Volkswagen, Triodos’ debt facility will help Pod Point supply, operate and maintain hundreds of charge points at 600 Tesco stores, allowing customers to charge their electric vehicles for free while they shop. In some locations, customers will be able to pay for a rapid charging service, adding convenience for those on shorter shopping trips.

The Pod Point partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen, announced in 2018, effectively created a new, sponsorship-based business model for EV charging. This lending from Triodos, Europe’s leading sustainable bank, is firmly aligned to the bank’s mission to deliver positive environmental impact and address the climate emergency.

The TLT team included legal director Stuart Urquhart (Commercial), partner Gary Roscoe (Banking and Finance), solicitor Emily Huish (Banking and Finance), solicitor Ed Lacey (Banking and Finance) and associate Emma Erskine-Fox (Tech and IP). The team negotiated the commercial contracts with Pod Point and Tesco to ensure bankability on behalf of Triodos, as well as the finance documents necessary for the funding.

Gary Roscoe, partner at TLT says: “This is one of the first debt-funded projects of its kind in the UK and Triodos’ first financing of EV charging infrastructure. TLT is proud to be playing a role in promoting the development of clean energy projects, and deals such as this highlight the breadth and depth of expertise TLT has in the sector.

To date, funding for the roll out of electric vehicle charge points has primarily been from public and private investment, but this innovative approach adopted by Triodos sets a precedent for debt funding, and paves the way for developers and retailers looking to explore other funding avenues and adopt a similar model.

Following the recent announcement from UK government of plans to bring forward the end date for sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2035, and the growing sales of electric vehicles, the rapid installation of publically available EV charging infrastructure has never been more important.”

Philip Bazin, head of the environment team at Triodos Bank UK, says: “Given our focus on sustainable and responsible finance, it is fundamental to Triodos to support projects, such as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which help us transition to a low-carbon, clean future.

“The transport sector now has the highest greenhouse gas emissions of any industry in the UK, with passenger car road transport accounting for over 50% of these emissions. We need the vision and capabilities of pioneering companies like Pod Point and mainstream businesses like Tesco wanting to deliver the change in our transport infrastructure that we need to see

Pod Point is rapidly accelerating the rollout of its charging network across the UK. Energy company EDF recently acquired a majority stake in the company, as part of a newly formed joint venture with Legal & General Capital.

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