Australian investment bank Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has partnered with Dutch fast charging solutions provider Heliox to offer a new ‘charging-as-a-service’ model for electric bus and truck operators across Europe.

Under the deal, the partnership will own and fund the construction of charging infrastructure and maintain the facilities on behalf of customers.

GIG and Heliox are initially targeting high growth EV markets identified as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK.

The partnership will provide fully financed, turnkey charging solutions for the lifecycle of the projects in return for fixed regular payments. By removing up-front costs, the service negates one of the main barriers to fleet electrification.

“The transport sector presents one of the world’s greatest decarbonisation challenges. We’ve got to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon technologies across all segments of the sector”, said Greg Callman, Head of Energy Technology at GIG. “Our partnership with Heliox helps bus and truck operators decarbonise their fleets cost effectively and rapidly, while reducing diesel emissions and improving the air quality of European cities.”

Projects delivered through the partnership will utilise Heliox’s vehicle-to-grid and dynamic charging technologies. This allows real time control of charging between the grid and electric vehicle, meaning high-cost peak-demand hours can be avoided; while the vehicle-to-grid technology provides a bi-directional energy flow, transforming the vehicles and depots into a virtual power plant.

The technology was implemented at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2018, which is still the world’s largest bus depot charging network. And last month, Helios was selected by First Bus to power its depot in Glasgow, Scotland. Over the next 18 months, the depot will be reconfigured to enable on-site charging of up to 300 eBuses, transforming it into the UK’s biggest electric charging station.

Roel Vissers, Group CFO of Heliox, said: “Globally, transport is undergoing a generational transition to zero-emissions, and the technology to support that transition is now available for mass rollout, thereby pushing the envelope for earlier and faster adoption of carbon neutral electric vehicles.

“By partnering with GIG, we answer a real need in the market for an affordable and tailored financing solution in Europe. Charging-as-a-service will make the switch to electrification easily available for ambitious fleet and charge point operators in all sectors, thereby truly supporting the low carbon transition.”