New EV charging startup Zest to ‘rapidly fill gaps’ in UK infrastructure
A new public EV charging company has launched in the UK, supported by funding from the Government.
Called Zest, the business intends to “democratise EV ownership by rapidly filling the gaps in the UK’s maturing EV infrastructure”.
While the early infrastructure has prioritised home driveway and rapid en-route charging, Zest is focused on rapidly growing a network that makes fast charging available where people regularly park for more than 30 minutes – including workplaces as well as shopping and leisure sites.
The business added that it will do this by removing the financial and operational barriers that stop landlords committing to large-scale charger deployments, encompassing everything from planning and installing the chargers to ongoing maintenance.
The business is being led by CEO Robin Heap, who already has extensive experience of nationwide EV charging networks in the UK; he was most recently head of EV sales at Centrica and has also worked as sales director and head of electric vehicles at Engie.
Heap said: “Customer experience is at the centre of everything we do. Our commercial proposition is a proven successful solution for landowners who want to cater for the increasing numbers of EV drivers visiting their properties. Zest removes the major worries for site hosts, such as significant capital outlay, unpredictable utilisation rates, and having to operate and maintain the hardware and software systems.”
The startup is being funded by an initial £30m investment from the Government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), which was launched in 2019 to help develop public charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles throughout the UK, and is managed by Zouk Capital.
Massimo Resta, partner at Zouk Capital, said: “The idea is to provide a way to charge EVs without disrupting people’s routines, and at the same time making it easy for landowners to join the EV revolution. Electricity is everywhere and Zest’s mission is to make EV charging as accessible, convenient and stress-free as possible. This is fully in tune with CIIF’s central objective of scaling open-access, public EV charging networks for the UK’s EV drivers.”