EV charger company launches £6.5m crowdfunding to drive next roll-out phase

Iduna founders Adrian Fielden-Gray and Asif Ghafoor

Iduna, the company behind Be.EV, Greater Manchester’s largest public charging network for electric vehicles, has launched a £6.5m crowdfunding round through ethical investment platform Abundance.

The investment will enable further expansion of its EV charging infrastructure in the North West – with plans to add 1,000 chargers across the region, encouraging more motorists to make the move to electric.

Despite its large urban and commuter population, the North West is currently underserved by EV charging infrastructure. Across the region, there are only 23 EV chargers per 100,000 people, compared with a UK average of 43. The rate is even lower for Greater Manchester at only 13 chargers per 100,000 people. As a result, EV adoption rates in the North West are only a third of the UK average.

Iduna took over the running of the existing Be.EV network from Transport for Greater Manchester in April 2021, to operate and look after existing chargers and to grow the network by installing new chargers and hubs.

This is the second fundraise for the business. It raised £4m earlier this year to fund an initial tranche of 50 chargers to be installed in the first half of 2022.

The Be.EV network currently consists of 140 public EV chargers in Greater Manchester. The team is looking to secure sites for a further 500 chargers in Greater Manchester and 1,000 across the North West during the remainder of 2022.

Funding for these will come from this second crowdfunding drive and from other investors.

Asif Ghafoor, CEO of Iduna, said: “There’s an urgent need to accelerate the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure across the North West.

“Greater Manchester is introducing its Clean Air Zone in only a few months’ time and EV uptake massively lags behind our region’s net zero ambitions.

“The Be.EV network is one of the few networks with the clear regional focus needed to get to a critical mass of locally available chargers quickly, so people feel confident to make the switch to electric sooner.”

Asif added: “The money we’re looking to raise with this second crowdfunding round will help us convert the sites we’ve lined up, which, increasingly, are about developing charging hubs that will provide a range of charging speeds to meet our customers’ dwell time.

“We’ve got a growing pipeline of sites, we work with public and private sector partners and our focus is in the North West, to get chargers in the ground where people need them.”

‘Iduna Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 2’ offers investors the chance to earn eight per cent interest per year over a five-year term. As with all Abundance investments the minimum investment is £5, and it is eligible to be held in an innovative finance ISA and pension.