GIG and Heliox partner to deliver pioneering Electric Vehicle Charging-as-a-Service

June 30, 2021
  • GIG and Heliox partner to deliver fully funded electric vehicle turnkey charging infrastructure starting with public transport and commercial fleet operators
  • The partnership is one of the first to offer the innovative ‘charging-as-a-service’ model in Europe
  • By removing up-front costs, charging-as-a-service makes the switch to fleet electrification easier and more affordable  

Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has partnered with Heliox B.V. (Heliox) to start delivering electric bus and truck (eBus & eTruck) charging infrastructure across Europe. Through an innovative ‘charging-as-a-service’ model, the partnership will own and fund the construction of charging infrastructure andmaintain the charging facilities on behalf of customers. Initial target markets focus on high growth EV markets including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK.

GIG and Heliox will provide fully financed, turn-key charging solutions for the life cycle of the projects in return for fixed regular payments. By removing up-front costs, the service reduces one of the main barriers to fleet electrification, and enables customers to convert capex costs into opex costs, making the cost of charging competitive to traditional diesel fuels, while dramatically lowering the carbon footprint of their fleet.  

Projects delivered through the partnership will utilise Heliox’s pioneering vehicle-to-grid and dynamic charging technologies: dynamic charging enables charging power between the grid and any electric vehicle to be controlled in real time, meaning high-cost peak-demand hours can be avoided; while their vehicle-to-grid technology provides a bi-directional energy flow, transforming the vehicles and depots into a virtual power plant.

Building on their market-leading track record, which includes implementing the world’s largest bus depot charging network at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2018, Heliox was recently selected by First Bus to power its depot in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the next 18 months, the depot will be reconfigured to enable on-site charging of up to 300 eBuses, transforming it into the UK’s biggest electric charging station. The project was announced ahead of the UN’s Climate Change Conference COP26 which will take place in the city in November.  

With transport accounting for 14%[1] of global emissions, and road vehicles accounting for nearly three-quarters of those emissions[2], there is an urgent need to find low-carbon solutions and encourage modal shifts. In response, the EU has set ambitious targets for the adoption of electric vehicles. Across the region, 45% and 65% of newly registered buses in 2025 and 2030 respectively, will be required to have an electric drivetrain; new truck emissions are to reduce 35% by 2030; and in the Netherlands, all new public buses are required to be emissions free from 2025.

“The transport sector presents one of the world’s greatest decarbonisation challenges. We’ve got to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon technologies across all segments of the sector”, said Greg Callman, Head of Energy Technology at GIG. “Our pioneering partnership with Heliox helps bus and truck operators decarbonise their fleets more cost effectively and rapidly, while reducing diesel emissions and improving the air quality of European cities.”

“Globally, transport is undergoing a generational transition to zero-emissions, and the technology to support that transition is now available for mass rollout, thereby pushing the envelope for earlier and faster adoption of carbon neutral electric vehicles”, said Roel Vissers, Group CFO of Heliox. “By partnering with GIG, we answer a real need in the market for an affordable and tailored financing solution in Europe. Charging-as-a-service will make the switch to electrification easily available for ambitious fleet and charge point operators in all sectors, thereby truly supporting the low carbon transition.”

The partnership between GIG and Heliox was delivered by GIG’s energy technology team - who specialise in financing technology solutions which are critical to the energy transition, including grid scale storage, distributed energy and fleet electrification - and Macquarie’s regional Benelux office, which is focused on investing in the energy transition.

[1] IPCC WG3 AR5 report - https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg3/

[2] https://www.iea.org/reports/tracking-transport-2020