Investing In Electric Dreams, BlackRock Charges Up EV Infrastructure – Wealth Briefing

BlackRock is adding its investment weight to building a viable high-speed charging infrastructure for Europe’s anticipated EV revolution.

In the race for electric mobility, BlackRock has announced a
€700 million ($785 million) joint investment in Munich-based
IONITY to drive EV
expansion across Europe.

The combined investment with IONITY’s other shareholders is
expected to quadruple its high-power charging points in Europe
from 1,500 to around 7,000 by 2025, and boost location points
from 400 to over 1000. BlackRock is funnelling investment from
its global renewable power fund, which closed a third installment
of $4.8 billion (€4.1 billion) in April, attracting  money
from public and private pension funds, insurers, endowments,
foundations and family offices.

Ramping up EV capacity filled the COP26 agenda and seen as
critical to meeting decarbonisation targets being set by
companies and governments. This doesn’t ease the fact that many
electric vehicle buyers are at the mercy of infrastructure that
isn’t keeping pace, especially the fast-charging 350kW outlets
that are needed for distance travel. Battery technology and
safety are also moving slower than many would like.

UK and EU lawmakers want to replace internal combustion engine
vehicles with electric ones running on renewable energy by the
end of the decade and are relying on big institutional investors
to play their part. In the US, President Biden’s Build Back
Better spending plan moving through Congress features extra tax
credits for electric vehicles. The $1.7 trillion package, roughly
a third of which is dedicated to mitigating climate, will offer
$7,500 credit to anyone buying electric vehicles until 2026.
After that, the tax break is only available for US-made electric
cars, and those buying US EVs made by union-backed carmakers are
entitled to an additional $4,500 bonus credit, which should
favour Detroit legacy brands such as GM and Ford.

BlackRock is the first company outside the auto industry to
invest in IONITY, which was launched four years ago as a joint
venture between BMW, Ford, Hyundai (owner of the KIA brand),
Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen (owner of both Audi and Porsche).

“Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is vital to achieve a
net zero future,” BlackRock’s global head of renewable power,
David Giordano, said. He said IONITY’s network is bringing the
auto industry pioneers together to create “a seamless experience
for emission-free driving across Europe.”

But there is a long way to go before realising this aim. A recent
Schroders’ report
based on Bloomberg analysis shows that the number of electric
vehicles purchased accounts for a small percentage of overall
vehicles on the road, and countries are moving at different
speeds in phasing ICE vehicles out and EVs into circulation. The
chart below shows how different nations stack up on targets.

Isabella Hervey-Bathurst, global sector specialist at Schroders,
says that it …….