Aviva Investors has taken part in a £410m (€482m) debt financing for electric vehicle (EV) fleet and battery storage specialist Zenobē Energy.

The global asset management arm of insurer Aviva has provided two new debt tranches worth £65m on behalf of third-party clients and Aviva UK Life, to help Zenobē’s EV fleet expansion.

In addition to Aviva, banks and institutions including Lloyds, MUFG, NatWest, Santander, Scottish Widows, Siemens Financial Services through Siemens Bank and Société Générale participated in the debt funding, Zenobē said. New banks and institutions to join the syndicate include ABN AMRO, CIBC, NAB, Rabobank and SMBC Group.

Zenobē said in total, it has added £410m of new debt to its existing £241m platform. 

The latest financing follows the investment of around £600m from KKR and a further £270m from Infracapital into Zenobē last year.   

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 company expects to deliver 4,000 electric buses, trucks and commercial vehicles on the road by 2026, including a £140m project to deliver 130 new double-decker zero emission all-electric buses in Coventry.

Darryl Murphy, managing director of infrastructure debt at Aviva Investors, said: “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, said: “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 of Zenobē, said: “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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