Shell has expanded into on-street charging, thanks to the acquisition of electric vehicle (EV) charging company ubitricity.
The move will allow it to grow in the EV space, working with councils to facilitate the rollout of charging infrastructure.
Ubitricity specialises in integrating EV charging into current infrastructure such as lampposts and bollards to increase the availability of chargepoints, in particular for those without driveways.
It operates the largest public EV charging network in the UK currently, with over 2,700 charge points or over 13% market share, according to Zap Map. This includes the UK’s first residential avenue to be fully converted to lamppost charging, which was completed in 2020. The avenue in Westminster had 24 chargers installed.
“What excites so many people about ubitricity is that our integration of EV charge points into existing on-street infrastructure makes EV charging easy and accessible for everyone who needs it, where they need it,” explained Lex Hartman, ubitricity’s CEO.
“Particularly in larger cities where there is limited access to off-street parking, this is the solution many people have been waiting for to allow them to transition to EV ownership. Combining this piece of the puzzle with Shell’s existing range of EV charging solutions gives EV drivers access to a full range of charging options, making Shell and ubitricity a perfect match.”
The acquisition of 100% of ubitricity will see it become a subsidiary of Shell, and allow the O&G major to further secure its role in the space. It has over 1,000 ultra-fast and fast charging points at approximately 430 Shell retail sites currently. Through its acquisition of NewMotion in 2017, the company has been able to establish itself as a key player in the sector.
István Kapitány, executive vice president of Shell Global Mobility, said the company wants to support customers who want to switch to an EV by making it “as convenient as possible for them".
“On-street options such as the lamp post charging offered by ubitricity will be key for those who live and work in cities or have limited access to off-street parking. Whether at home, at work or on-the-go, we want to provide our customers with accessible and affordable EV charging options so they can charge up no matter where they are.”
O&M majors are increasingly looking to establish themselves in the EV space, with the likes of Total acquiring Blue Point London in 2020 to secure it’s spot.