Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: March 20, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini

The British Zenobē arrives in the Portuguese market to support the financing of eBuses

Being a pioneer in offering financing for up to 16 years for the replacement of electric bus batteries, Zenobē introduces its innovative business model in Portugal. Below, Martin Navarro, Director of Iberia at Zenobē, reveals all the details to Mobility Portal Europe. What are their plans?
Zenobe-Mobility Portal Europe
Martin Navarro, Director of Iberia at Zenobē.

“Our aim is to support the transition to electric fleets and the local community, as all users of our services will benefit,” states Martin Navarro, Director of Iberia at Zenobē.

In an exclusive interview with Mobility Portal Europe, the company representative for the Iberian market reveals they plan to enter Portugal between the third and fourth quarters of this year.

The first step will be to establish partnerships with Portuguese partners and subsequently participate in public tenders, in collaboration with other relevant actors.

The company will not focus on a specific region but will address the entire national territory.

Zenobē focuses on three pillars

The british is dedicated to making clean energy accessible by designing, financing, building, and operating charging infrastructure solutions, fleet electrification, and batteries, giving the latter a second life.

In this way, it helps network operators transition to a fully renewable electric system affordably and reliably.

Regarding the first pillar, it provides financing for vehicle charging infrastructure, including chargers, facilities, connection points, and civil engineering.

For the case of Portugal, they plan to hire a local company to implement this entire solution.

Regarding the second aspect, the company electrifies corporate fleets, whether medium, small, or large, including industrial ones, especially in the eBus sector.

Zenobē focuses on minimizing the total cost of ownership of zero and low-emission fleets.

To this end, it designs customized charging infrastructure to meet the needs of each depot and collaborates with a wide range of manufacturers.

At this point, it is important to note that each customer has the freedom to choose both the manufacturer and the model and brand they wish to adopt for their operations.

“They provide us with the budget, and we split the part corresponding to the battery from the chassis,” he says.

In this way, the company provides the necessary financing to acquire charging infrastructure and electric vehicles, as well as for battery replacement costs.

Zenobē has the ability to provide financial backing for up to 16 years, “something uncommon in the market today.”

This allows for maintaining lower than usual fixed monthly costs.

The third pillar of the British is to give a second life to eCar batteries.

They have been pioneers in offering rapid reserve, being used for reactive energy, and managing transmission network constraints.

“We provide battery storage where electricity is distributed directly to the grid or building, or can be directed to charging points,” Navarro explains.

Not only that, but it also supports the circular economy by reusing and recycling them, to subsequently be used in specific projects where power is limited or as electricity storage.

The company has an intuitive software through which the customer can observe the bus’s charging status, its location (whether parked, currently in route, or if it has any faults), the number of kilometers traveled, among other relevant data.

Through this intelligent platform, the operator can effectively manage fleets, charging points, and the status of each bus.

In which markets does Zenobē excel?

Since its inception in 2017 in the United Kingdom (UK), the company has raised approximately 1.8 billion pounds in debt and equity financing.

Currently, it has approximately 730 MW of batteries connected to the grid, active or under contract, and about 1,000 electric vehicles.

It also collaborates with approximately 90 per cent of the leading bus companies, supplying over 25 per cent of the UK eBus market.

In this, it has developed over 75 projects, including notable partnerships such as the one with First Group, involving 36 vehicles, and the collaboration with Stagecoach, comprising 17 buses.

Zenobē also has a presence in the markets of Australia and New Zealand, where it positions itself as the leading owner and operator of electric buses, and Benelux.

It is likely that in the near future, the company will explore opportunities in Latin America, although it is currently premature to make an official announcement in this regard.

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