The French energy company announced the acquisition in a press release on its website, explaining that it now owns a majority stake in Pod Point in a joint venture with property firm Legal & General Capital. In the release, EDF said that the acquisition was their largest investment into the electric vehicle market to date, contributing to their plan to become a leading brand for energy mobility in France, Italy, Belgium and the UK.
Pod Point was founded in 2009 by Erik Fairbairn and provides charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Between 2015 and 2017, it raised £3.71m on Crowdcube from 1,428 investors. Today, Pod Point has 62,000 charging points across the UK and over 6,000 in Norway. These charging points have been installed in homes, workplaces and public spaces. Furthermore, Pod Point have developed a public network of 3,000 charging bays across the UK that incorporates Tesco and LIDL supermarkets, Center Parcs holiday villages and other sites in Legal & General’s property portfolio. The partnership between EDF and Pod Point comes with a range of benefits for electric vehicle owners and existing EDF customers. For instance, customers will be able to secure a charging point by scheduling a time to charge their vehicle. Another benefit stems from EDF’s existing ‘Go Electric’ scheme. Currently, ‘Go Electric’ allows customers to lease an EV and benefit from lower off-peak electricity rates, but EDF’s acquisition of Pod Point will allow EDF to offer installation of charging solutions “as part of even more attractive EV deals.”
EDF’s acquisition of Pod Point comes shortly after the UK Government moved its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035, five years forward from its original date of 2040. In response, a boost in the UK’s EV charging infrastructure was called for in order to increase adoption of electric vehicles. Furthermore, last year saw EDF acquire Pivot Power, another company focused on the charging of electric vehicles. Pivot Power specialise in grid-scale batteries and provide the infrastructure required for rapid EV charge-points that can charge an electric vehicle quicker and more efficiently. With a company as high-profile as EDF actively investing in the development of this infrastructure, the government’s goal could become more achievable.
Pod Point’s CEO and Founder, Erik Fairbairn, highlighted the significance of working alongside EDF in a quote given to the press. “By joining up with EDF we can take things to the next level and accelerate our national roll out of charging points and make it even easier for drivers across the UK to go electric. I’m immensely proud of what the Pod Point team has already achieved but think it is only a fraction of what we will now be able to do with EDF.”
The partnership between Pod Point and EDF is set to provide a significant boost to the UK’s EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, it is a significant step for the energy company in fulfilling their Electric Mobility Plan which aims for them to be a leader in ‘smart charging’. Not only does EDF appear to be working successfully towards its own target, but its work will be important for the UK Government’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.