Zest announces installation of West Midlands charging hub at Merry Hill

New network Zest to fill gaps in destination charging infrastructure


There’s a new electric vehicle (EV) charging company on the scene. Public network Zest has launched in the UK, supported by government funding.

Zest is aiming to break into the ‘destination’ charging market by making fast charging available where people park, be that on-street, at work or out shopping. According to the company, this will involve “rapidly filling the gaps in the maturing public charging infrastructure.”

While many networks already provide destination charging across the UK, Zest says it can remove financial and operational barriers for landowners – such as local authorities, enterprises and parking operators – and help them in committing to large-scale charger deployments. This will include everything from planning and installing the chargers to ongoing maintenance, according to the network.

Zest is headed up by CEO Robin Heap, whose experience in EV charging includes establishing the presence of ENGIE in the UK. The company now owns and operates the ENGIE and GeniePoint nationwide charging networks.

“Customer experience is at the centre of everything we do. Our commercial proposition is a proven successful solution for landowners who want to cater for the increasing numbers of EV drivers visiting their properties,” said Heap.

“Zest removes the major worries for site hosts, such as significant capital outlay, unpredictable utilisation rates, and having to operate and maintain the hardware and software systems.”

In order to launch, Zest recently received an initial £30m investment from Zouk Capital, which is the manager of the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), a dedicated fund established by the UK Government in 2019 and backed by HM Treasury to help develop public charging infrastructure points for electric vehicles throughout the UK.

“The idea is to provide a way to charge EVs without disrupting people’s routines, and at the same time making it easy for landowners to join the EV revolution,” said Massimo Resta, partner at Zouk Capital.

“Electricity is everywhere and Zest’s mission is to make EV charging as accessible, convenient and stress-free as possible. This is fully in tune with CIIF’s central objective of scaling open-access, public EV charging networks for the UK’s EV drivers.”

Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of Project Finance, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, added: “The £30m commitment by CIIF into Zest once again demonstrates the progress made by the Government and the private sector in bringing reliable and sustainable solutions for everyone across the UK.”