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May 18, 2022

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✏️ Programming note: The Axios team is meeting this week for our first in-person retreat. We'll finally get to see how tall everyone is.

  • It's a jam-packed schedule. To ensure the team can focus on the tasks at hand — thankfully no team-building exercises — our newsletters will be lighter than usual tomorrow and Friday.
  • Don't fret: We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming Monday.

1 big thing: Inspiration nets $215M for fleet EVs

The EV fleet management and investment startup Inspiration Mobility announced a $215 million fundraise led by Macquarie Asset Management and Ferrovial, a multinational infrastructure operator, Alan has learned.

Why it matters: Infrastructure investors are generally slow movers, so an infrastructure company joining Macquarie on an investment of this size signals that EV fleet management has reached maturity.

Of note: The EV ride-share startup Revel is among Inspiration's earliest partners.

How it works: Inspiration wears several hats.

  • It's a consulting and management firm for fleet operators — from taxis to corporates to contractors — looking to transition to EVs.
  • It invests in companies along the EV value chain, from charging systems to real estate.
  • And it owns, aggregates and operates EVs, charging infrastructure and energy assets like solar and storage.

Behind the news: Supply chain disruptions and shortages in key materials are driving up prices and long delivery times on new vehicles.

  • The new infusion of capital wasn't spurred by these challenges, the company says, but it doesn't hurt, either.
  • Inspiration previously raised $200 million from existing investor ArcLight Capital Partners, bringing the startup's total capital raised to $415 million.
  • "The bigger balance sheet, the more customers, the more attention from OEMs," Inspiration founder and CEO Josh Green tells Alan. "It was never about, 'These cars are going up in price and we’ve got to raise more capital to buy the same number of cars.'"

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