BlackRock-backed Jolt launches on-street EV chargers in UK

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – Australian charging company Jolt, which has received backing from U.S. fund manager BlackRock, said on Tuesday it is rolling out on-street EV chargers in London as parts of plans to install 5,000 chargers in Britain over the next three to five years.

Jolt is rolling out chargers in the London borough of Barnet and CEO Doug McNamee said the company was in talks to do the same in other boroughs. Barnet has received a 2.1 million pound ($2.6 million) government grant for EV charging infrastructure.

Unlike most on-street public chargers, which provide a low trickle of power (often around 7 kilowatts) to charge EVs overnight, Jolt’s chargers are at 25 kilowatts (kW) and best suited for short stops on high streets in densely populated urban areas, McNamee said.

Its chargers feature advertising, which pays for 7 kilowatt hours of free charging for consumers, or around 30 miles (48.3 km) of EV range.

Jolt has received more than A$100 million ($63.7 million) in funding from BlackRock’s climate infrastructure fund and operates in Australia and New Zealand, and recently announced a partnership with Canadian telecoms company Telus to install 5,000 chargers across Canada.

The company currently has around 100 chargers in service, but has a “global pipeline of around 7,500 chargers,” McNamee said.

Jolt has also set up U.S. offices and is working out how to enter that market, which has a patchwork of regulations that vary by state.

“We’ve got a great partner in BlackRock, so we might be springing up somewhere else before you know it,” McNamee said.

($1 = 1.5711 Australian dollars)

($1 = 0.8172 pounds)

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)