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    Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund supports clean air initiative with Breathe cars, providing electric vehicles (EVs) to private hire drivers across the capital

    The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) is providing capital to Vehicle-as-a-Service provider Breathe, supported by fintech Zeti’s pay per mile platform ZERO, for the deployment of 100 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles (EVs) to private hire drivers, including Uber, in London.

    The funding of this zero-emission private hire fleet follows the successful pay-per-mile funding of taxis that Zeti previously delivered in London using MEEF funds.

    This latest funding will see internal combustion engine vehicles replaced as part of a contribution towards tackling the capital’s air pollution problem and supports the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, commitment to zero emission transport in the capital.

    Forecasts predict that the Breathe fleet will save 338 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere per annum and will also achieve an annual average reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to £5,137 in cost per tonne of CO2.

    Dan Saunders, Zeti CEO, said: “This second round of funding is a proud moment for us as it recognises the contribution to clean and connected transport that the UK’s green fintech community is making.

    “Having begun as providers of pay-per-mile financing for taxi fleets, and now with this further expansion to other fleet types like PHV fleets and subscription services, it shows how scalable sustainable solutions really are for tackling climate issues.

    “We’re excited to support Breathe and to be using our technology alongside MEEF’s and Triodos’ capital to make this a reality.”

    Powered by Zeti’s ZERO, Breathe provides a complete vehicle as a service (VaaS) subscription solution to drivers including offering insurance, maintenance and tyre replacements.

    It also allows drivers to choose between an ‘Everything Included Ownership’ model giving them the option to own the vehicle after four years, or an ‘Everything Included Rental’ model in which the driver subscribes for use on a weekly basis.

    The Breathe fleet will replace existing petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles with Uber which is aiming to be an all-electric platform in London from 2025 onwards. The electric vehicles will also have further advantages over a petrol and diesel fleet as they are currently exempt from the Congestion and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges.

    Breathe analytics technology provides the intelligence to proactively manage its operations and through the Zeti ZERO platform, MEEF will be able to monitor real-time data on vehicle telematics and the overall carbon savings of the fleet based on the total mileage.

    Jeff Davis, Director of Breathe, said: “At Breathe our mission is to provide large scale electric vehicles-as-a-service offerings and we are excited to be starting with sustainable, flexible and affordable vehicle subscription options for London’s private hire market.

    “We are seeing huge demand for electric private hire vehicles and MEEF’s funding allows us to expand our operations and help more drivers step into their first EV.”

    This is also an exciting opportunity for MEEF as it is the fund’s first investment to include both a debt and equity package.

    Pete Radford, MEEF Director, said: “We are delighted that MEEF is supporting Breathe EV to offer a fully managed VaaS product to London’s private hire drivers, and in doing so, helping to accelerate the shift from conventional to electric vehicles in the Capital.”

    MEEF is being supported by Triodos, a leading sustainable bank, which has committed a significant part of MEEF’s capital for the project.

    This is MEEF’s fourth investment in the low carbon mobility sector. Eligible projects for MEEF include e-mobility, EV charging, alternative fuel stations and hydrogen fuel cells.

    Since launching in July 2018, MEEF has made investments in the emobility, EV charging infrastructure, district heating, street lighting and energy efficiency sectors, creating energy savings of over 39 million GWh.

    Breathe were advised by their exclusive financial advisor Pantokrator, Zeti were advised on this transaction by EY and MEEF were advised by Energy Pro, Burges Salmon and Osborne Clarke.

    Andre Shortell, Pantokrator Managing Partner, said:It has been a joy to work with the Breathe team who have pioneered the all-inclusive EVaaS model to decarbonise urban mobility and ride-sharing.

    “With MEEF, Breathe has found a partner that is equally dedicated to accelerating climate action to meet ambitious air pollution and climate goals.”

    Gwyn Rhodes, Head of Business Banking at Triodos Bank UK, said: “Funding the clean energy transition is key to Triodos’s mission as a sustainable bank and this will become ever more important as we work collectively towards the UK’s net zero target.

    “Breathe’s business model has tangible environmental and social benefits as it will ultimately work to support cleaner air across London.”

    Ian Osborne
    Ian Osborne
    Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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