Oil companies are not sitting idly by as the electric vehicle (EV) revolution continues to gain momentum. Instead, they are actively investing in the EV charging market, a field they are already familiar with.
For example, Shell recently announced its acquisition of Volta, a company that operates a network of EV charging stations across the United States and Europe. Volta’s current network includes 3,050 destination chargers in 31 states, with an additional 3,400 stations planned for the near future.
Shell recently acquired Volta for $169 million, gaining access to satisfied customers and strategic charging station locations in retail parking facilities. Volta ranked second in customer satisfaction, behind only Tesla, in the 2022 survey.
Volta’s success is due to a combination of factors, including its charging stations with large screens that run ads, which generates revenue to offset expenses and allows the company to offer competitive charging prices. Additionally, Volta uses only sustainable energy to recharge electric cars, adding to its green credentials.
Shell is not the only oil company to move into the electric car charging space, with companies like EVgo and Electrify America also making the transition. Shell is rebranding itself as an energy business and has acquired Greenlots, renaming it to Shell Recharge, and Volta, giving it a total of over 57,000 charging stations. The company is also diversifying into other green products such as electric scooters and battery banks.
The EV charging market is poised for significant growth, and oil companies are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend. They already have established locations and large service networks, and they are aware that gasoline-powered cars are likely to decline in popularity.
Oil giants are looking to diversify their business and expand into EV charging infrastructure, which will benefit electric car owners and accelerate EV adoption. However, it’s likely that EV charging won’t be cheaper than gasoline, and this is already evident with some big companies entering the EV charging space. Ultimately, oil companies will continue to provide fuel for vehicles, whether it’s in the form of liquid or electrons.