BlackRock Real Assets will acquire a stake in Australian electric vehicle (EV) charging provider JOLT Charge and will support its expansion by helping to build infrastructure that will encourage Australians to take up EVs faster.
This is BlackRock’s first investment in the EV charging sector in the Asia-Pacific region and is part of the rollout of its Global Renewable Power Strategy fund, which is focused on renewable energy infrastructure assets.
Charlie Reid, managing director of BlackRock Renewable Power, said the partnership with JOLT had long-term potential growth.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Doug McNamee, CEO and founder of JOLT, said Australia had a critical role to play in advancing the world 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,” he said.
Drivers using JOLT will receive the first seven kWh of charge for free and will be charged afterwards for additional usage. JOLT will also generate revenue from advertising to be sold on its charging stations.
JOLT currently has charging stations in Adelaide and has a partnership with Ausgrid to transform existing streetside kiosks into stations.
The new rollout will begin in Hornsby and Northern Beaches in Sydney.
Globally, EV sales are predicted to increase from 3.1 million in 2020 to 14 million in 2025, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
While EV sales have increased in Europe, the United States, and China, take-up from Australian consumers has been limited. Part of the reason is the country’s vast geography, sparse population, lack of charging infrastructure, and cost of the vehicle—more than regular petrol cars.
EV’s were also a major pillar of former Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s federal election campaign in 2019, where the Australian Labor Party (ALP) pledged an ambitious target to have 50 percent of all new cars sold in the country be electric by 2030.
The ALP lost the election, with analysts attributing the loss to the party’s adoption of progressive policies, which alienated key resource-focused electorates in Queensland and regional New South Wales.