Shell Recharge station

Shell USA has confirmed that its US$169 million acquisition of Volta Charging is now complete.

Following a statement of intent in January that Shell USA would purchase 100 per cent of the outstanding shares of American EV charging infrastructure owner and operator Volta, the full “all-cash transaction” for “approximately US$169 million” (just under $227 million), or US$0.86 per share, was complete as of last Friday.

Said deal includes paying US$11 million (around $14.7 million) in third party debt accrued by Volta and a loan of US$20 million (just under $27 million) to “support Volta’s balance sheet and bridge Volta through the closing of the transaction.” Approximately 200 existing jobs have also been safeguarded.

It’s worth mentioning that Shell more than doubled its profits to US$40 billion in 2022 alone, so this acquisition was by no means a financial stretch. By comparison, Volta specialized in equipping its plug-in charging locations – often at high-footfall areas like retailers and stadiums – with advertising screens, the idea being that ad revenue, both national and international, would cover the costs.

Ultimately though, while installations had been increasing healthily year-on-year, this “non-fuel” revenue was not enough to cover the costs. In Q3 alone last year, the American independent reported a net loss of US$42.5 million.

Unsurprisingly, Shell has already confirmed that it will prioritize a paid charging model via an increased number of DC fast-charging points.

The sale thus means the Shell Recharge network in the USA now adds “over 3,000” charge points across 31 states and territories in the USA (hitherto, the majority of Shell’s Recharge stations in the US have been located in California), as well as “a development pipeline of more than 3,400 additional charge points” to its portfolio, making it one of the largest charging networks in North America.

The sale is the latest step by the Shell group as it looks to increase its EV network to “more than 500,000” charge points by 2025 – up from 140,000 currently in operation – on to a staggering 2.5 million by 2030.

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