Shell acquires Volta in EV charging expansion
A U.S. subsidiary of oil-and-gas giant Shell acquired Volta, a San Francisco-based electric vehicle charging provider that integrated advertising with its public chargers.
- The all-cash deal is valued at about $169 million, the companies said in dual press releases.
Why it matters: Shell has steadily grown its footprint in EV charging, part of an accelerating arms race with other oil-and-gas companies that have branched into electric mobility.
What's happening: Shell USA is buying all of Volta's Class A common stock at $0.86 per share.
- The deal is expected to close in H1.
Context: Volta calls itself both an EV charging provider and media company. Investors were not quite convinced:
- The company's NYSE share price bottomed out since its SPAC merger in August 2021.
- It was trading at about $0.73 at close yesterday, from a peak of $15.03 less than two years ago.
Meanwhile: The acquisition is Shell's latest deal across the EV value chain.
- The U.K.-based conglomerate and its subsidiaries bought German charging tech manufacturer SBRS last August, Spanish charging provider Cable Energia last June, Berlin-based public charging service Ubitricity in 2021, and LA-based charging service Greenlots in 2019.
- Oil-and-gas rivals such as BP and Chevron have started making similar moves.
The intrigue: Volta in November received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's ARPA-E program to develop and commercialize new fast-charging technologies.
💭 Our thought bubble: Shell managed to snag over 3,050 charge points — and a potentially lucrative advertising business — for a steal.
- Plus, with the program funded by ARPA-E, Shell is getting the jump on potential new charging tech.