Big oil wants to make sure they continue to get a cut every time you refuel your vehicle, so they’ve been going after EV charging companies, or establishing their own.

The latest M&A in the space is Shell agreeing to buy US-listed Volta for US$0.86 a share (18% premium), valuing the deal at US$169 million in an all-cash transaction.

Volta listed in August 2021 by merging with a SPAC. Its share price peaked at over US$15 a share, which is more than 15 times the price that Shell eventually bought it for. It has multiple income streams – an EV owner has to pay for charging, and its chargers also have screens which can display advertisements.

Shell previously also acquired European EV charging network ubitricity, which works with local authorities to integrate EV chargers into existing street infrastructure such as lamp posts and bollards.

In Malaysia, Shell acquired a 50% stake in ParkEasy after an initial period of collaboration where it used the ParkEasy app to manage access to its EV chargers. Shell and ParkEasy launched a network of EV chargers called Shell Recharge in Malaysia, including a total of 7 DC chargers on highways.

Other than oil companies, electricity companies are also investing in the EV charging network space. TNB has its TNB Electron brand for EV charging stations in Malaysia.