Shell buys leading car charging company

Shell has agreed to buy one of Europe’s biggest electric vehicle charging companies, marking a significant push into a market that threatens to one day upend the oil industry.

The company said on Thursday it has agreed to buy NewMotion, a Netherlands-based provider of more than 30,000 private electric charging points for EVs, with plans to eventually roll out the technology across the majority of Shell’s 45,000 branded service stations globally..

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.The move marks the most significant push yet by an oil major into the electric vehicle refueling market, which is forecast to grow dramatically in the coming years.

Shell itself has forecast that oil demand could peak as soon as next decade, providing an existential challenge to an industry that has enjoyed almost uninterrupted growth since the first commercial well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859.

“Today’s announcement is an early step towards ensuring customers can access a range of refuelling choices over the coming decades, as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport fuels.” Shell’s Vice President for New Fuels, Matthew Tipper, said.

“This move provides customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go. When you add this customer offer to our current roll out of fast charging points on Shell forecourts, we believe we are developing the full raft of charge solutions required to support the future of EVs.

”NewMotion will continue to operate under its own branding, Shell said. As well as home charging kits, it has a network of more than 50,000 public charge points across 25 European countries, with more than 100,000 registered charge cards.Sytse Zuidema, CEO of NewMotion, added:

“We are very pleased to have such a strong investor that fully supports our mission, enabling us to further expand across Europe at a time when the transition to electric vehicles is gathering pace.”