Shell Finalizes Deal for Ad-Supported EV Charging Network

March 31, 2023 by Dan McCue
Shell Finalizes Deal for Ad-Supported EV Charging Network
(Shell photo)

HOUSTON — Shell USA Inc., a subsidiary of Shell plc, one of the world’s largest oil companies, has completed its acquisition of Volta Charging and will now own and operate one of the largest public electric vehicle charging networks in the United States.

The all-cash transaction is valued at $169 million. About 200 former Volta employees will join the Shell Group as a result of the deal.

With its completion, Shell has acquired an existing network of over 3,000 charging stations at destination sites like shopping centers, grocery stores and pharmacies located in 31 states and territories.

It also bought a development pipeline of more than 3,400 additional charging stations and the capabilities needed to continue developing, operating and monetizing EV charging infrastructure.

“We want to make charging as convenient as possible for our customers,” said István Kapitány, executive vice president of Shell Mobility in a written statement. 

“As demand for EV charging continues to grow, destination sites will play a key role in meeting people where they spend a great deal of time: the store, the gym, and everywhere in-between,” Kapitány continued.  

“Beyond providing a charging service, Volta specializes in generating advertising revenues from screens embedded into the charge point, adding a source of non-fuel revenue from sites both in the U.S. and globally,” he said.

Shell described Volta’s advertising business as an “early mover advantage” that has allowed the company to secure prime spots and portfolio-level contracts with site hosts in high-value, high-traffic markets.

“While most of Volta’s current revenue is generated through advertising, there are plans to increase the number of fast charging DC outlets with a paid charging model,” the company said in a press release.

Volta was an early and big supporter of President Joe Biden’s goal of having zero-emission vehicles account for half of all new U.S. car and truck sales by 2030.

Just last summer it unveiled a plan to accelerate the rollout of its charging stations into “disadvantaged and underserved communities.”

Called the “Charging For All” initiative, Volta said it planned to invest in infrastructure and communities that might otherwise not be prioritized by infrastructure developers, or the advertising community that supports many of the EV charging stations.

It was unclear Friday whether that plan will go forward.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

 

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