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Scottish port ‘future-proofed’ as EV firm targets roll-out

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It is the third time the state-backed development bank has invested in the business, after it followed its initial backing of £2m in 2021 with a £10m injection the year after.

Edinburgh-based FOR EV said the latest round of funding will support its plans deliver high-quality, accessible electric vehicle charging hubs across the UK while expanding its fleet proposition.

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The investment was announced shortly after FOR EV announced its latest charging point, at the Loch Ryan ferry port in Cairnryan near Stranraer. The point will give the 1.3 million customers who use Stena Line access to rapid vehicle charging.

The new charging hub, which can charge eight electric vehicles simultaneously and provide around 320 charging sessions a day, is the result of a public-private joint venture between FOR EV and South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE). SOSE has invested £170,000 into the facility within the landside area of the port, which forms part of the Cairnryan-Belfast route – the UK’s busiest domestic short sea route.

The hub can also be used by the local community, providing a “much-needed” boost to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the area. Two additional charge points have also been specially installed for use by Police Scotland.

Lindsay Wallace, executive director of sales and innovations for Europe at FOR EV, said: “Our newest hub will future-proof Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port while also providing local people, who have until now suffered from a dearth of EV charging infrastructure in their area, with improved access to high-quality charging facilities.

“The £10m of follow-on investment from the bank will support our ambitious plans to further improve EV infrastructure across the country. For example, we hope to work with SOSE to explore other prospective charging sites that will help accelerate the development of a robust EV infrastructure for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

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“This will support and encourage more businesses and communities to adopt electric vehicles as we journey towards a net zero future.”

The SNIB opened in November 2020 with £2 billion of public money to invest in Scottish firms engaged in three critical missions: the drive to net zero, tackling place-based inequality, and harnessing innovation to help people flourish. Prior to the latest investment in FOR EV, it had invested around £640m in 35 deals since it came into being.

Andy Clapp, executive director at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “The provision of sufficient charging points is an essential part of Scotland’s net-zero transition. We are pleased to back FOR EV’s ambitious plans and its ability to grow and scale as a company, delivering widespread environmental and economic impact.

“FOR EV is aligned to the bank’s mission to help deliver a net zero Scotland.”

Martin Valenti, director of net zero, nature and entrepreneurship at SOSE, said: “By supporting FOR EV to install new rapid EV charge points at Loch Ryan Port, we’ve significantly improved the port’s infrastructure. This investment will provide a boost to drivers who have already made the transition to electric vehicles, encourage more to make the switch, and help the south of Scotland play a key role in the wider goal to reach net zero by 2045.”

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Andrew Kane, regional port operations manager, at Stena Line, said: “At a time when electric vehicle usage is increasing rapidly, the introduction of the port’s new EV charging infrastructure, provided by FOR EV, will help to meet customer demand for charging services.

“Customers will now have the convenience of rapid charging their vehicle before boarding or after disembarkation of our vessels to continue their journey seamlessly. Stena Line has ambitious sustainability goals, and introducing infrastructure such as this within our ports to support our customers’ own sustainability is key to reaching our targets.”

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