SNIB invests another £10m in EV charge firm FOR EV

Scotland’s only private electric vehicle charge point operator FOR EV has been boosted by a £10 million follow-on investment by the Scottish National Investment Bank.

The cash injection follows an initial investment of £2 million by the bank in 2021, as well as an £18 million investment earlier this year, and will help FOR EV create a network of over 1,700 electric vehicle charging points at 600 public “destination” sites across the UK.

The latest of these points was unveiled this week at Loch Ryan ferry port in Cairnryan, near Stranraer, where Stena Line’s 1.3 million annual customers will now have access to rapid electric vehicle charging.

The new charging hub, which can charge eight electric vehicles simultaneously and provide around 320 charging sessions a day, is the result of a public-private joint venture between FOR EV and South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).

SOSE has invested £170,000 into the facility within the “landside” area of the port, which forms part of the UK’s busiest domestic short sea route, Cairnryan-Belfast.

As well as serving Stena’s customers, the hub can also be used by local EV drivers. Two additional charge points have also been installed specifically for use by Police Scotland.

Andy Clapp, Executive Director at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “The provision of sufficient charging points is an essential part of Scotland’s net zero transition.

“We are excited by FOR EV’s ambitious plans and its ability to grow and scale as a company, delivering widespread environmental and economic impact.

“Public charging points in key areas – like the one in Cairnryan – are critical to the expansion of Scotland’s charging network, serving local EV users as well as visitors.

“FOR EV is aligned to the Bank’s mission to deliver tangible impact in our journey toward a net zero Scotland while delivering commercial returns for the public purse. We excited to help the firm scale and achieve its aims.”

FOR EV’s Executive Director, Sales & Innovations Europe, Lindsay Wallace, said: “Our newest hub will future-proof Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port while also providing local people, who have until now suffered from a dearth of EV charging infrastructure in their area, with improved access to high-quality charging facilities.

“The £10m of follow-on investment from the Bank will support our ambitious plans to further improve EV infrastructure across the country.

“For example, we hope to work with SOSE to explore other prospective charging sites that will help accelerate the development of a robust EV infrastructure for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

“This will support and encourage more businesses and communities to adopt electric vehicles as we journey towards a Net Zero future.”

Martin Valenti, Director of Net Zero, Nature and Entrepreneurship at SOSE, said: “By supporting FOR EV to install new rapid EV charge points at Loch Ryan Port, we’ve significantly improved the port’s infrastructure.

“This investment will provide a boost to drivers who have already made the transition to electric vehicles, encourage more to make the switch, and help the South of Scotland play a key role in the wider goal to reach Net Zero by 2045.”

Andrew Kane, Regional Port Operations Manager, Stena Line, said: “At a time when electric vehicle usage is increasing rapidly, the introduction of the port’s new EV charging infrastructure, provided by FOR EV, will help to meet customer demand for charging services.

“Customers will now have the convenience of rapid charging their vehicle before boarding or after disembarkation of our vessels to continue their journey seamlessly.

“Stena Line has ambitious sustainability goals, and introducing infrastructure such as this within our ports to support our customers’ own sustainability is key to reaching our targets.”