BlackRock Real Assets has acquired an equity stake in Australian electric vehicle charging provider, JOLT Charge (JOLT). The investment will support JOLT’s business expansion plans to build out essential infrastructure to enable the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia.
As part of the agreement, BlackRock Real Assets will also provide over AUD$100 million of capital through business milestones to fund the construction of JOLT’s charging infrastructure, including the rollout of over 5,000 charging stations across Australia.
This is the first investment in the EV charging sector made by BlackRock Real Assets in APAC as part of the deployment of its latest Global Renewable Power strategy, which raised US$4.8 billion at its final close earlier this year.
JOLT is Australia’s leading end-to-end owner and operator of battery electric vehicle chargers, allowing users to enjoy free, fast charging. The company aims to solve the major barriers to EV ownership in Australia including access to charging and cost, as well as range anxiety. JOLT currently has operational charging stations in Adelaide and announced earlier this year its partnership with Ausgrid in a world-first initiative to transform existing street side kiosks into state-of-the-art EV charging stations.
The need for new EV charging infrastructure is enormous as the global transition to EVs accelerates. Annual passenger EV sales are expected to increase sharply from 3.1 million in 2020 to 14 million by 2025, with global passenger EVs on the road rising from 12 million today to 170 million by 2030, based on Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates.
Charlie Reid, Managing Director of BlackRock Renewable Power, said: “The EV charging industry in APAC has tremendous near and long-term growth potential, which creates exciting investment opportunities for BlackRock’s clients. We believe the electrification of transport plays a pivotal role in advancing Australia’s energy transition and we look forward to harnessing this through our investment in JOLT.”
Doug McNamee, CEO and Founder of JOLT, commented: “Institutional capital will play a critical role in developing the infrastructure that will galvanise and accelerate EV uptake in Australia. We’re thrilled to have secured support from BlackRock Real Assets who recognises our vision to help transform the future of transport through electrification.”
“Australia has a critical role to play in advancing towards a net-zero emissions future. We’re excited to be leading the way forward by building the vital infrastructure needed to power our roads, address range anxiety and help get more Australians behind the wheel of an EV.”
Andrew Landman, Head of Australasia for BlackRock, added: “This is a great demonstration of BlackRock’s commitment to accelerating climate innovation in Australia. We look forward to supporting JOLT in the build-out of this essential infrastructure that aims to make EVs more accessible to the broader Australian community.”
BlackRock’s latest Global Renewable Power strategy seeks to invest across the spectrum of climate infrastructure assets, with a focus on renewable power generation, energy storage and electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. This transaction marks the strategy’s tenth investment globally.