Shell takes aim at electric car market with ubitricity purchase

Berlin-based start-up is behind biggest public charging network in UK

A vehicle is seen charging at an Ubitricity on-street electric vehicle charging point in London, Britain, in January 25, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley
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Shell has purchased the ubitricity, one of Europe's largest electric vehicle (EV) charging point providers.

The petrochemicals giant said Monday that it would buy a 100 per cent stake in the Berlin-based startup without disclosing the price.

“The move represents a further step in Shell’s efforts to support drivers as they switch to lower-carbon transport,” the company said.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval but would give Shell ownership of the biggest public EV charging network in Britain with more than 2,700 charge points.

ubitricity also has smaller public networks in Germany and France, and has installed over 1,500 charge points for fleet customers across Europe.

The company’s focus has been to integrate charge points into existing street infrastructure, such as lamp posts, to reduce the cost of laying new power lines down streets.

Experts say easier access to charging facilities is key to the successful rollout of electric vehicles.

Shell has said it wants to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.