New EV charging startup Zest picks up £30M funding

Zest Image credits: buffaloboy/Shutterstock

As per estimates, up to half a million destination and public charge points will be needed by 2030 to realise the ambitious EV mission of the UK government. However, there are fewer than 30,000 charging points, which makes it easier for landowners to provide an abundance of charge points and deliver a seamless customer experience. This is where the newly launched public EV charging company Zest comes to play as the UK transitions to EV.

The startup has raised initial funding of £30 million investment from the government’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF) that helps develop public charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles throughout the UK and is managed by Zouk Capital. With this investment, Zest intends to democratise EV ownership by rapidly filling the gaps in the UK’s maturing EV infrastructure.

Zest CEO Robin 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.”

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. We are looking forward to working with Robin and his team to build this new EV charging company.”

Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of Project Finance, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, added: “The UK is leading the way when it comes to transforming our infrastructure and harnessing green energy to support ending the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050. The £30m commitment by CIIF into Zest once again demonstrates the progress made by the Government and the private sector in bringing reliable and sustainable solutions for everyone across the UK.”

Fast charging of EVs

Zest removes the financial and operational barriers for landowners such as enterprises, parking operators or local authorities. This includes everything from planning and installing the chargers to ongoing maintenance. The startup operates with the mission to make the shift to EV a realistic option for everyone, by rapidly growing a network that makes fast charging available where people regularly park for more than 30 minutes, whether it is when shopping, at leisure or at work.