Shell Buys UK’s Largest Electric Vehicle Charging Network Ubitricity


Good news not only for people in UK, but for electric vehicle owners and owners to be everywhere. This is the sign that the electric cars on the streets have a critical mass big enough for Shell to invest.

Photo courtesy of Ubitricity

The second positive outcome is that if they are directly involved in the electric cars business, they will be one less company trying to stop the greener technologies.

With more and more electric cars on the roads, the demand for the gas stations will decrease and some of them will close and finding a gas station will become more difficult.

There is reason to be cautiously optimistic that they are doing it in order to maintain their stranglehold on transportation energy networks (what a thing to be optimistic about!) and not in effort to dismantle it.

Shell said on Monday it would buy 100 per cent of the company for an undisclosed amount. Ubitricity, founded in Germany, is a leading European provider of on-street charging for electric vehicles.

Shell has been very open in the last few years that they see themselves as an “energy” company and that they don’t care very much if the energy comes from fossil fuels or from renewables, as long as consumers buy it from Shell. They’ve seen the writing on the wall and are moving to where the money will be in the future. Apart from this acquisition, they have also invested in wind parks (their offshore expertise is quite handy apparently), hydrogen electrolysers for damping renewable production peaks and several other large and capital intensive projects that they are very well positioned to take on.

The main concern seems to be whether they can make the cultural switch in management as there are quite a few “old hands” in middle management that are quite attached to the fossil fuel sector that they grew up with. On the other hand, the CEO and board seem fully on board so we’ll see how it plays out. In the coming weeks with the annual report they are expected to present a new strategy document for the coming decade with more details on how they plan to go about it. This is a company that has tens of billions per year to invest in new energy projects, as well as some top tier talent. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with.

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