Shell targets electric car charging network through ubitricity deal
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 25/01/2021
Royal Dutch Shell is to buy the owner of the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network as it moves to cover the shift away from fuel-powered cars.
The company said that ubitricity has more than 2,700 on-street charge points.
Shell did not reveal how much it was to pay but said it expected to complete the transaction later this year.
The move follows fierce fuel rival BP, which bought Chargemaster in 2018 for £130m as the industry eyes an electric vehicle future amid efforts to combat climate change.
In the UK’s case, that future has been brought into sharper focus through accelerating government deadlines for the sale of traditionally-powered cars to be outlawed.
Boris Johnson announced in November that the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles would be banned from 2030 rather than 2035.
Electric vehicle sales are rising as more models are brought to the market but surveys have revealed scepticism over the cost of purchasing the car rather than running it.
A recent RAC survey found 78% of drivers thought pure electric cars were still too expensive when compared to conventional vehicles of a similar size.
However, it also showed an increasing proportion were planning to choose one when they next changed their car.
Improving availability of charging stations at petrol stations should help ease concerns expressed by drivers about battery range.
Shell said of its deal: “This acquisition marks Shell’s expansion into the fast-growing on-street EV charging market and will provide critical competencies, helping Shell to scale its overall EV charging offer.”
The oil giant is aiming to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.
© Sky News 2020