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Shell has just bought another EV charging company...

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As the energy transition picks up pace- and more specifically the trend towards electrification- we’re seeing oil and gas majors making more and more investments in power generation and transmission and distribution businesses. The latest being Shell which has just bought another electric vehicle charging company.
The acquisition of Greenlots is the latest of Shell's ventures into the power industry.
(The acquisition of Greenlots is the latest of Shell’s ventures into the power industry. Image via Greenlots).

Greenlots, which is a US-based leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management software has been picked up by Shell New Energies LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc. In the deal, Greenlots will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell’s US operations and will pursue the large-scale deployment of smart charging infrastructure.

The acquisition follows a similar investment over in Europe where Shell agreed to purchase NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging providers.

With Greenlots’ within its portfolio, Shell will be better positioned to support the energy transition which is taking place across the U.S. particularly in Greenlots’ home state of California where the Golden State government wants to see 5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

Greenlots’ intelligent charging system will play an important role in helping the state’s electricity grid cope with the increased demand as it allows users to charge their vehicles when demand is electricity is low, thus helping to spread pressure on the grid.

“As power and mobility converge, there will be a seismic shift in how people and goods are transported,” says Brett Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Greenlots. “Electrification will enable a more connected, autonomous and personalised experience. Our technology, backed by the resources, scale and reach of Shell, will accelerate this transition to a future mobility ecosystem that is safer, cleaner and more accessible”.

Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President of New Energies for Shell, outlined the company’s rationale for the acquisition, saying that:

“As our customers’ needs evolve, we will increasingly offer a range of alternative energy sources, supported by digital technologies, to give people choice and the flexibility, where they need to go and whatever they drive. This latest investment in meeting the low-carbon energy needs of US drivers today is part of our wider efforts to make a better tomorrow. It is a step towards making EV charging more accessible and more attractive to utilities, businesses and communities”.

As part of the deal Greenlots will retain its brand-identity and leadership team.

The race to electrification

As the clean energy transition continues, expect to see more deals like the one outlined above. Oil and gas majors in particular appear to see their future increasingly involved in power generation and transmission and distribution. The question is, how far into the power sector are they likely to go? Will we eventually see an oil major purchase a large state-wide utility company for example? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

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Sam, 09 February 2019
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Shell has just bought another EV charging company... - Time to read 3 min
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