Shell USA announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Volta Inc. in an all-cash deal that is valued at $169 million. This is the second electric vehicle charging network that has been purchased by the oil company.
As part of the deal, Shell will take over the charging network’s assets. These include more than 3,000 charge points across 31 states and territories. Although the majority of its charging stations are located in the U.S., it operates a handful of stations in France and Germany, too.
In addition to the charging locations that Volta has already set up, today’s disclosure also revealed that the company is developing a further 3,400 charge points. The existing stations are located at malls, grocery stores, pharmacies, and in other public areas.
Read: U.S. Must Quadruple Number of EV Charging Stations By 2025, Report Claims
In addition to providing drivers with electricity, Volta also seeks to provide advertisers with eyeballs. On top of being charge points, its locations are also digital billboards for advertisers. In this way, it provides a discounted charging rate for drivers, with the difference subsidized by advertisers.
And the model seems to be working because Volta’s network was rated as the second-best (behind Tesla) in the Level 2 charging station category in J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience study.
Shell will buy 100 percent of outstanding shares in Volta at a cost of $0.86 per share. The oil giant is now waiting for regulatory approval before the charging company becomes a wholly owned subsidiary. In addition to buying Volta, Royal Dutch Shell bought charging network Greenlots in 2019. In total, the company will now own and operate more than 57,000 charging stalls around the world, reports The Verge.
“Both Volta and Shell have a demonstrated ability to meet the changing needs of customers, and this acquisition will bring that experience together to provide the options that are needed as more drivers choose electric,” said Vince Cubbage, Volta’s interim CEO.