EV charging firm Pod Point touted for London IPO

EDF-owned company wants to capitalise on switch away from petrol and diesel cars

Pod Point, one of Britain’s fastest-growing providers of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, is expected to go public on the London Stock Exchange in the latest addition to the UK’s booming IPO Market.

Pod Point, which offers charging points for communities, households or businesses to help drive the switch away from petrol and diesel engines, is expected to unveil its intention to float early next week with the company's shares making their trading debut in early November.

Pod Point declined to comment on the potential IPO.

The company, which is majority-owned by French utility company EDF, is understood to have recruited Andy Palmer, the former chief executive of Aston Martin, as its senior independent director.

The listing is a boon for the UK’s IPO market, which has boomed this year after several sluggish years, offering a further boost to the City’s efforts to position itself as a hub for advanced automotive-related technology.

London retained its position as the most attractive European IPO venue by funds raised in the third quarter, according to EY, continuing momentum seen in the previous two quarters and reaching new record highs.

Fourteen IPOs raised £2.9bn on the main market in the third quarter and 19 IPOs raised £1.1bn on the Alternative Investment Market, taking the total funds raised by companies floating on the LSE in the first nine months of the year to £13.4bn, far outstripping the total IPO proceeds of £9.3bn generated in 2020.

Pod Point, was set up in 2009 by mechanical engineer Erik Fairbairn, who started his career at Ford and previously founded and later sold supercar rental club called Ecurie25.

While Mr Fairbairn invested much of his own capital in Pod Point and acquired angel funding in the early stages, the company raised £1.5 million in equity crowdfunding in 2014, with a second crowdfunding round of £1.9m in 2015. A further funding round of £9m, mostly sourced from venture capital, followed in 2017.

While Pod Point’s expected valuation at debut is unclear, media reports indicate the target valuation could be in the hundreds of millions, while Bank of America, Barclays and Numis are working on the IPO.

The company wants to capitalise on rising demand for electric vehicle charging points, as it makes its money through the sale of its private charging points, which is supplemented by maintenance and hardware packages.

Pod Point controls almost 4,000 bays on its public EV charging network, has sold about 100,000 charging points for home use across Britain and Norway, and has powered more than 459 million miles of electric driving.

Britain's gas crisis has offered a further boost for EV chargers, with many consumers switching to electric vehicles to get around fuel shortages at petrol stations.

Sales of battery-electric vehicles soared in September by 49 per cent when fuel shortages caused chaos across the country. The 32,721 new EVs registered in the month was roughly 5,000 cars shy of the total for all of 2019. Tesla’s Model 3 was the overall top-selling vehicle of the month, with 6,879 registered, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Energy regulator Ofgem recently pledged £300m towards ultrafast charging points – a move that will increase the availability of infrastructure across Britain.

However, almost 29,000 charging points will be required across Britain by 2030 to meet demand as sales of petrol and diesel cars are banned from that year with hybrids off the market by 2035.

The number of public chargers for top-up charging will also require a tenfold increase by the end of the decade from 2016 levels, according to the government.

EDF, which bought a controlling stake in Pod Point just over a year ago, is expected to retain this after the IPO as it strives to become the leading energy company for electric mobility in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy.

Updated: October 7th 2021, 10:44 AM