Bure Valley Group is an investment introducer platform which links successful investors with exciting, innovative UK startups seeking funding. This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial or investment advice.
The UK government has committed the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This will require extensive changes across the UK including the development of a “hydrogen economy” (e.g. for long-distance HGVs) and increasing electrification, especially for transport and heating. Cities, in particular, have a key role to play due to their population density (80% of people in England live in cities, with the number set to grow in the coming years).
This is where exciting innovations in sustainable urban transport come to the fore. In 2023, new systems are being developed, by startups and larger companies, which reduce the negative impact of transport on the environment. These also have the potential to promote public health and social interaction, making life in Britain’s cities all the more enjoyable. Below, our team at Bure Valley Group focuses the spotlight on investor opportunities in sustainable urban transport in 2023, looking at City Shuttle as a case study. We hope you enjoy this content. To find out more about our investment opportunities, visit our portfolio page here. To enquire regarding our latest projects and funding, you can reach us via:
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Why sustainable urban transport?
Traditionally, urban transport has relied on fossil fuels – private cars, taxis and buses. In today’s world, where “green issues” are high in the public consciousness and on government agendas, these models are becoming unsustainable. Greenhouse emissions, congestion and air pollution are the unfortunate results. Yet, with new sustainable models coming to the fore, the opportunity is arriving to improve the connectivity, safety and convenience of urban transport. Clean, efficient vehicles (e.g. electric/hybrid-powered) can play a key role in making transport more affordable, accessible and efficient. The net benefits to the economy – and local communities – could be difficult to measure, but considerable. Certainly, if more people can move around faster, at less risk to their health and lower cost to their wallets, then UK productivity could rise considerably in the coming years. This is setting aside the 600,000 extra jobs that could be created by 2030 through “new green industries” – such as sustainable urban transport.
Investor spotlight: City Shuttle
So, what kinds of investor opportunities are there in the sustainable urban transport sector? In 2023, the sector is still in its infancy – but offers a lot of potential. The UK government has just released a new £10m “research hub” to explore the best ways to decarbonise and improve UK transport (which currently accounts for 27% of UK emissions). An exciting example of a young company driving innovation in this area is City Shuttle.
Incorporated in 2018, City Shuttle started introducing 3 working models of its prototype “green-powered” cabs in 2020 – the Geco (private passenger car), the ePack (goods transportation) and the eDooh (mobile digital advertising). The company can claim to be truly UK-based, with all parts sourced and assembled here at home (removing reliability issues on global supply chains). Its Essex-based assembly line can currently manufacture 4 units per day and £250,000 has already been raised to date, with £1b annual UK market ready for capture. The three-revenue-stream business has been valued at £20m and is qualified for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), offering attractive tax benefits to investors who are interested in the opportunity. The vehicles can utilise cycle lanes and pedestrianised areas (helping to avoid congestion), with services priced competitively at a fixed cost. The Geco model, used for private transport, stands up particularly well against competitors like Uber – surpassing the black cab and rickshaw – with a better emissions profile.
The future of sustainable urban transport
For the UK to develop more resilient, livable cities, sustainable urban transport is essential. The government, as such, is likely to keep offering tax credits, subsidies, and preferential treatment to companies (and service users) in the sector – giving startups a crucial “leg up” to grow and generate returns for investors. Between 2011 and 2015, for instance, the UK government gave 96 sustainable transport packages from 77 local authorities to help improve traffic flow, enable effective road maintenance and promote public health. All major UK political parties are largely committed to “net zero”, making it likely that successive governments will continue to make it a priority to incentivise innovation in this sector. This is reinforced by the reputation stake placed by the government in the UK’s carbon agenda, especially since hosting the COP26 conference in 2021. Further reducing emissions helps strengthen its influence in international negotiations and helps position the country as a global competitor in low-carbon goods and services.
In short, there is little reason to believe that the UK will become more hostile to startups which facilitate sustainable urban transport. Quite the opposite. Companies like City Shittle are ideally positioned to benefit from this favourable landscape and tailwinds. Investor networks, such as ours here at Bure Valley Group, will almost certainly play a key role in bringing these companies to the attention of early-stage investors who wish to capitalise on – and aid in – this trend.
Interested in finding out more about the exciting startup projects we have on offer to investors here at Bure Valley Group? Get in touch today to start a conversation with our team and discuss some of the great investment memorandums we have available here:
+44 160 334 0827