Shell expands EV reach in the U.S. with Volta acquisition

Deal includes more than 3,000 charging stations with digital media boards.
Michelle Warren
Editor & Associate Publisher, Convenience Store News Canada + OCTANE
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Volta charging station front of Amazon Fresh Store in Manassas, VA.

Shell USA Inc. is to acquire the electric vehicle (EV) charging and media company Volta Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $169 million.

Volta operates more than 3,050 charging sites in high-traffic commercial areas, such as high streets and shopping centres, across the U.S. and Europe. The charging stations feature large-format digital advertising screens, which can be used to influence consumer behaviour with targeted messaging. The network leverages the company's proprietary PredictEV platform, which uses behavioural science and machine learning technology to help commercial property owners, cities, and electric utilities plan EV infrastructure.

The company has plans in the works to install an additional 3,400 EV charging stalls, according to a press release. 

"The shift to e-mobility is unstoppable, and Shell recognizes Volta's industry-leading dual charging and media model delivers a public charging offering that is affordable, reliable, and accessible," says interim CEO Vince Cubbage. "While the EV infrastructure market opportunity is potentially enormous, Volta's ability to capture it independently, in challenging market conditions and with ongoing capital constraints, was limited. This transaction creates value for our shareholders and provides our exceptional employees and other stakeholders a clear path forward."

This is Shell's second EV-related acquisition, as it acquired Greenlots in 2019, an builds on the momentum in electric mobility by combining EV charging and media companies in the U.S. with one of the world's largest energy suppliers.

The deal is expected to close the first half of 2023. Volta's Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction and the closing of the merger is subject to the approval of Volta's stockholders.