Buoyed by a year of surging EV sales across Australia this year, private equity group Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) has taken a majority stake in Sydney-based electric vehicle charging hardware and software provider EVSE with a view to powering up its expansion opportunities.
While financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed, PEP has described the deal as a $250 million partnership with that sum including future capital outlay to help EVSE grow its presence in Australia and New Zealand.
EVSE, founded in 2015 by Brendan Wheeler and Sam Korkees on a mission to make owning an EV easier than a petrol-powered car, provides turnkey services for the design, installation and support of EV charging stations via the Exploren platform. The company is one of Australia’s largest EV charging solutions providers with its footprint spanning the residential, fleet and EV manufacturers segments.
PEP plans to leverage future opportunities for the business through a collaboration between EVSE and another of its investments, the smart metering and energy technology provider Intellihub.
Through this partnership, the private equity group is aiming for EVSE to better manage EV charging as a ‘behind-the-meter consumer energy device’.
“PEP’s strategic investment will enable EVSE to grow at scale as it continues to lead the way in the rapid electrification of Australia’s transport sector over the coming decade,” says PEP’s managing director Cameron Blanks.
“Australia is on track for 100,000 new EV sales in 2023, with continued growth year on year over the coming decade. Companies such as EVSE will be instrumental in supporting this rapid uptake.”
The latest EV sales numbers compare with 33,410 EV sales nationally in 2022 and PEP is expecting a significant uptake in EVs in the medium term to continue driving sustained demand for charging infrastructure.
The private equity group notes the opportunities in New Zealand is driven by the government targeting 30 per cent of the country’s light vehicle fleet to be EVs by 2035.
Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine sees a partnership with EVSE as a key opportunity to aid residential and commercial customers in transitioning to EVs.
“We’re now installing more than 40,000 smart meters across Australia and New Zealand each month,” says Ballantine.
“And more and more we’re going beyond the meter, to support the better management of consumer energy devices like electric hot water, pools, solar and batteries – and EV charging. Our technology and people power will be a great asset for EVSE.”
While Wheeler and Korkees have reduced their equity interest EVSE, they are expected to ride a new wave of growth through the capital injection by PEP.
Korkees says the Intellihub and PEP partnership will help EVSE meet the needs of more EV motorists across the country.
“Our hardware and software solutions are at the forefront of the EV charging market,” Korkees says.
“This strategic partnership with PEP, backed by the expertise of Intellihub, is a game changer for EV charging services in Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re ready now and moving quickly to support the rapid uptake of EVs across the region.”
Wheeler and Korkees were inspired to establish EVSE after a trip to Europe in 2014 when they were surprised to see the large number of EVs and charging stations deployed across the streets of Amsterdam.
They figured it was only time before Australia catches up. Since then, EVSE has made significant inroads into the EV charging sector, aided by partnerships with major brands including Hyundai and Uber this year.
Meanwhile, the latest acquisition builds on PEP’s growing list of green technology investments, which more recently include energy technology company GreenSync and the world’s first digital pool monitoring business Pooled.
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