Green utility group Good Energy has invested a further £1m into the parent company of Zap-Map, the electric vehicle mapping service, to accelerate its growth.
Chippenham-headquartered Good Energy already majority owns Next Green Car Ltd following two previous investments, which have helped make Bristol-based Zap-Map a major player in the drive towards zero carbon mobility.
Zap-Map subscribers pay to use it to plan routes, locate charge points and check their availability via their smartphones – factors seen as crucial to persuade drivers to ditch petrol and diesel cars in favour of electric vehicles (EVs).
Zap-Map is also looking to integrate its Zap-Pay scheme with the widely used Allstar payment platform under an agreement with Fleetcor UK, part of Fleetcor, the worldwide leader in business payments.
Allstar will be able to provide commercial fleet operators and drivers with access to more than 4,277 charging points across 1,700 locations throughout the UK.
Good Energy, which supplies 100% renewable electricity supplier along with a range of innovative energy services, described Zap-Map as “the voice of the EV driver” by enabling them to search, plan and pay for EV charging in one app while receiving real time updates in car.
Good Energy’s latest investment is being made via a convertible loan note.
Good Energy founder and chief executive officer Juliet Davenport, who is also chair of Zap-Map, said: “This investment in Zap-Map will allow them to accelerate their proven products and provide much-needed services for the growing number of EV drivers in the UK and beyond.
“With a strong pipeline of opportunities we are excited about what the future holds for Zap.”
She said the partnership with Fleetcor was a great example of two leaders in their fields collaborating to solve and simplify a complex problem for businesses as they transition to electric motoring.
“The solution will help to make charging simple for business EV drivers at scale, increase adoption and help drive the UK towards zero emission motoring,” she added.
Zap-Map currently has more than 95% of the UK’s public charging points on its network, with live dynamic data for 70-plus per cent of the UK EV charging network is. Over 75% of the UK EV drivers have downloaded Zap-Map, which grew by more than 60% last year in line with the UK EV market. The firm now has more than 180,000 registered users, 140,000 cross platform users, 130,000 saved route plans and 12,000-plus user comments a month.
Good Energy was launched by Ms Davenport more than 20 years ago with a clear purpose to give consumers the power to tackle climate change by choosing renewable power.
Last year it increased revenues by 5.1% to £130.6m, driven by growth in business supply and FIT (feed in tariff) customers, which more than offset a decline in domestic supply customers.
Gross profit was 6.6% lower at £29.6m while its gross profit margin fell from 25.5% to 22.6%, although the group said this was in line with a strategic shift towards longer-term, lower-gross margin business supply while it was also affected by selling back excess contracted power and higher network reconciliation costs. Underlying profit before tax came in at £400,000.
It said it had enjoyed good underlying business growth which mitigated the impact of Covid on the business, with overall customer numbers increasing by 1.8% to 271,000.
Total business customers increased 9%, with Business FIT customers up 8.8% and business supply customers by 12.3%. Total domestic customers decreased by 4.7% although domestic FIT customers growing by 1.1%.
Juliet Davenport said: “Good Energy has shown strength and weathered the Covid-19 storm well.
“We have made good progress with our strategy and continued to invest across the business – in the development of energy service propositions, innovation projects, our people, processes and technology.
“The economy is now opening up, consumer and business confidence is returning with an appetite to ‘build back greener’.
“With our solid business performance and a clear strategy supporting us, Good Energy is in a great place to provide the products and services that people and businesses need to help them achieve net-zero.”