Electronics and Semiconductors

Shell to acquire EV charging vendor Volta

20 January 2023
Volta ‘s EV charging stalls include large-format screens that display media to consumers. The EV charging stations are installed in commercial locations such as grocery stores like Whole Foods. Source: Volta

Shell USA Inc., a division of Shell plc, will acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging vendor Volta in an all-cash transaction valued at about $169 million.

The move will combine Shell’s global reach and brand with Volta’s dual charging and media network for the long-term growth opportunities in the automotive industry’s transition to electrification. The deal is subject to regulatory and board of director’s approval.

“While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta's ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited,” said Vince Cubbage, interim CEO of Volta. “This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward."

Volta said the transaction provides the opportunity to unlock a significant opportunity to expand construction and evaluation of charging stalls and capture seismic EV charging market opportunity.

Volta’s EV charging stations are installed in entrances to popular commercial locations such as grocery stores, theaters and shopping malls. The EV charging stalls contain larger-format digital advertising screens to attract and influence foot traffic as consumers recharge their vehicles.

Why it matters

Automotive OEMs are quickly ramping up their transition to electrified models. Some such as Ford and General Motors have signaled they will move away from primarily selling gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles in favor of electrified cars.

Meanwhile, countries, particularly those in Europe, are promoting EVs heavily and quickly moving to accelerate the adoption of these cars. In the U.S., California has passed legislation to outlaw the sale of combustion engine vehicles soon.

Oil companies have been dabbing their toes in the EV charging market for a while now. In fact, Shell made plans to add 50,000 on-street EV charging posts in the U.K. by the end of 2025 and said it was seeking to operate 500,00 charge points by the same time frame as part of its goal to be a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

With the automotive world changing quickly and with more EVs on the road, oil companies are looking to stay in the game as companies such as Volta, Blink Charging, ChargePoint and more expand their reach globally.

At the recent CES 2023, numerous EV companies unveiled new products for home and commercial charging and EVgo signed an agreement with Amazon for a service to be launched this year with the Alexa-assisted EV charging service connected to more than 150,000 U.S. public EVgo charging stations.

The bottom line is more companies are getting involved with EVs and EV charging and it won’t be slowing down as consumer demand, government mandates and climate change regulations continue to drive the automotive industry’s largest transition in its history.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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