Matchmaking between big Oil & Gas and EVs

We look at the new suitors eye-ing up EV companies

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Investment In The Electric Vehicle Charging Market

The electric vehicle (EV) charging industry is pegged to become a booming business.   Oil and gas giants are fast realising this and are choosing to invest in the industry of EV charging as fast as they can.  This is part to build their green image as they move into the low carbon sector underpinned by renewable technologies and E-mobiliy and, in this instance, in a bid to maintain their positions in retailing “fuel”. A large majority of the public charging infrastructure in Europe is operated by such oil companies as of 2019.

Shell Takes On The Challenge

Shell purchased Greenlots to make use of its technology for battery charging optimisation and grid balancing services. A whopping 31 million US dollar investment in Ample, an EV charging startup shows how serious they are about this sector. In 2017, IONITY announced its partnership with Shell as well to make plans for 400 charging stations in total to be spread across Europe.

Shell’s huge investment in EV charge points which started in 2017 looked to be quite the bold move. Partnering with NewMotion which had over 30,000 charging points, Shell was ready to take on the challenge of providing customers with enough flexibility to charge their vehicles at their convenience.

BP Makes an Investment and follow suit

In early 2018, BP announced that it would be venturing into the business and invested 5 million US dollars in FreeWire technologies. This is an American based manufacturer of electric vehicles charging systems. In a bid to keep up with the changing times and the evolution of the vehicle industry, BP believes that this partnership allows for the exploration of numerous options. This was a conservative step in comparison to Shell’s much larger investment in the same industry.

Opportunities Available

Oil, gas and utility companies such as BP and Shell are making these investments in a fledgling sector where there will be more opportunities not just in the core products but also the supporting technologies and services.   BP believes that the fast charging technology from FreeWire will fast become a number one fueling option and can help lower carbon mobility which is the end goal. Electric vehicles are slowly taking over the industry and as such, companies like BP taking an increasing interest in the venture shows significant evolution with the changing times.

Reasons to Invest

Change in mobility is a key factor and as such the companies taking an interest in this business see it as important. BP’s investment involved the use of mobile chargers that rely on batteries hence would not incur installation costs. Shell, on the other hand, is choosing to invest in charging stations spread across Western Europe.

The Next Big Thing

Electric vehicles are pegged to play an increasingly important role in enabling the movement of people and products. Charging e-mobility vehicles will hence be vital to ensure minimal disruption of daily routines while providing customers with a range of refueling choices where needed. This is also in line with addressing the issue of carbon emissions. The goal at the end of the day is to minimize on this as well hence the rapid uptake of electric vehicles and the investment in this sector by oil and gas giants.

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