BlackRock (BLK) joins electric vehicle charging venture
14:25, 24 November 2021
BlackRock joined electric vehicle (EV) charging venture IONITY in a €700m ($788m) funding round to speed up construction of high-power loading sites.
IONITY made the announcement in a press release on Wednesday. The investment, which also includes contributions from existing shareholders, will enable it to more than quadruple the number of high-power 350 kilowatt charging points to 7,000 by 2025.
Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Ford and Hyundai have also invested in IONITY.
Founded in 2017 to accelerate the installation of charging stations along European motorways, IONITY now operates more than 1,500 charging points in 24 countries.
However, it said the new charging points will be situated not only on motorways but also near major cities and along busy trunk roads.
“Future locations will be built with a higher average of six to twelve charging points. Furthermore, existing sites along routes with high charging demand will be upgraded with additional charging points. These measures will enhance the customers’ charging experience and make sure that the IONITY network is prepared for the increasing demand for electric vehicle charging,” it said in the release.
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The electrification of the mobility sector is an important step toward achieving net-zero targets.
Most fossil fuel-powered cars are set to be replaced by electric vehicles in the next 10 years, in line with European Union legislation, therefore a massive expansion of charging infrastructure powered by 100% renewable energy is essential to support the transformation.
“BlackRock is the first company from outside the automotive sector to be a shareholder in this joint venture through its Global Renewable Power platform. The BlackRock Global Renewable Power platform has invested directly in over 300 projects globally, including onshore wind, offshore wind and solar photovoltaic projects,” IONITY said.
“The entry of BlackRock as a shareholder and the commitment of our current shareholders underline IONITY’s attractiveness for investors and confirm the strength of our strategy. The trust and investment of all shareholders will accelerate IONITY’s growth, the expansion of our high-power charging network across Europe and more broadly, the decarbonisation of the mobility sector,” IONITY CEO Michael Hajesch said in the release.
David Giordano, global head of renewable power at BlackRock, also commented on the funding.
“We are delighted to be supporting their growth ambition and providing our clients with access to an innovative company that is powering the clean energy transition,” he said.
IONITY also said it plans to increasingly acquire its own properties and, depending on the location, build and operate its own service stations.