French automaker Renault and oil and gas giant Shell are among companies which are interested in taking a stake in electric vehicle charging group IONITY, according to an Automotive News Europe report.

In March, IONITY said it was examining ways to expand its network of fast chargers across Europe, also adding that additional shareholders are welcome, according to the report. Final bids for the stake of between 20% to 25% are due in July, and are valued between 400 million to 500 million euros (RM1.97 billion to RM2.47 billion), according to sources cited by Automotive News Europe.

Shell and IONITY signed an agreement for the construction of EV fast-charging points in 10 European countries, according to the report; Shell also owns NewMotion, one of the largest EV charging providers in Europe.

Formed in 2017, the EV charging network joint venture began with BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group with Porsche AG, and was subsequently joined by Kia and Hyundai in September 2019. IONITY currently has 348 charging stations in operation across Europe, and a further 45 stations are under construction, reports Automotive News Europe.

For the Hyundai Motor Group, its part in the IONITY joint venture is aimed at offering the widest possible compatibility with its electrified vehicles, as well as electrified vehicles of other makes, throughout Europe. EV models from Hyundai and Kia – such as the Kia EV6 – will be equipped with 800 V charging systems, enabling its to accommodate the HPC facilities offered by IONITY, which are rated up to 350 kW.

IONITY outlets employ the Combined Charging System European standard with CCS Combo 2 connector. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, the founding partners of IONITY – BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group – have equal shares in the joint venture.