£130,000 of investment shares are being offered in Charge My Street, a community benefit society based in Lancaster that installs and maintains public electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints.
The share offer will see 100 new electric vehicle chargepoints installed in Cumbria and Lancashire, with an aim to encourage more drivers to make the switch from petrol and diesel engines.
The scheme is part of a program funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to overcome one of the main barriers to adoption of EVs, which is a lack of publicly accessible chargepoints.
“This is a particular issue where people do not have their own driveways or are in rented accommodation, and in rural areas that may be a lower priority for commercial chargepoint providers,” said Charge My Street director Daniel Heery. “Our ultimate goal is for every home to be within a five-minute walk of a chargepoint.”
Shares go on sale on 24 February and the offer closes on 31 March, with a minimum investment of £100 and a maximum of £15,000.
Daniel set up Charge My Street after he realised that, living in a terraced house in Lancaster, he would not have anywhere to charge the electric car that he wanted to buy. Knowing that community venues could host charging equipment and being aware of community shares, he obtained funding from Innovate UK to set up the community benefit society.
That year he raised £19,000 from a community share offer. Along with the grant funding, this enabled the installation of four chargepoints: two in Lancaster (at Lancaster Boys and Girls Club and at the Boot and Shoe on Scotforth Road), one in Alston and one in Broughton in Furness.
Further funding from Innovate UK along with South Lakeland District Council and Carlisle City Council has resulted in the latest project expanding the chargepoint network across the North in partnership with ten other organisations, all working to drive forward the EV revolution.
Daniel said: “We’re delighted to be able to once again offer shares to the public in our community enterprise. This is a massive scaling-up of our past operations and it’s something that is sorely needed in communities across the North West that have been yet unserved by the biggest commercial providers. It allows them to invest in the future and show that there is demand for climate change targets to be met.
“Investors in our previous share offer have been attracted by the opportunity to help drive forward new technology, reduce CO2 emissions, support initiatives that benefit local communities and expand the charging network for their own use. Now’s a great time to invest in chargepoints. The number of EVs in the UK grew by 32% in the past year alone, but chargepoints are lagging behind.”
Michael Gibson, a previous investor in Charge My Street, said: “I strongly believe that electric vehicles should be accessible by all. Charge My Street, as a not-for-profit, is making this happen in my community and I was keen to support them. At the same time their SEIS tax-relief gave me some added financial benefit for doing so, which made the decision even easier.”
Transport is responsible for about a third of the UK’s carbon emissions. To tackle the climate emergency and to reduce air pollution, a significant reduction in petrol and diesel transport is needed. As well as investing in better public transport, part of the solution is to switch to EVs, where possible powered by clean energy from renewable sources.
Investments in the chargepoint infrastructure help give the public the confidence to consider switching away from polluting petrol or diesel vehicles to cleaner EV technology.
Potential investors can find out more about the share offer and the program to expand EV infrastructure at chargemystreet.co.uk.