Billion dollar charging innovations in European EVs

European energy giants BP and Shell are ploughing a significant amount of investment into EV charging infrastructure globally, as the number of electric vehicles on the road could reach 125 million by 2030. Join inspiratia in November as it brings together industry leaders from across the globe for key business insights at EVS Whistler 2019

European companies are making significant strides as they beef up their plans to become green mobility leaders.

On 17 June 2019, Engie acquired charging provider Charge Point Services (CPS) for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will help the French utility power up its EV offering, as CPS owns and operates UK’s GeniePoint charging network and has a customer base of around 20,000 people.

Shell also snapped up Greenlots at the end of January [2019], aiming to lead the North American EV charging infrastructure push. The company is pouring approximately US$1 billion (£790m €890m) annually into the EV business. Among its other sizeable moves in the area was its acquisition of NewMotion in 2017, providing Shell with access to 30,000 charging stations in western Europe. The group also made a US$31 million (£25m €27m) investment in the start-up Ample in 2018.

The graph below details Shell’s equity investments by industry. The company announced its intention to ramp up EV charging projects and boost spending in its nascent power division by US$2-3 billion.

Shell Ventures equity investments by industry, 2009-2019 (% of 67 total deals)

Source: Shell, S&P Global, inspiratia

In June 2018, BP announced the acquisition of the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging company, Chargemaster, for £130million (€145m US$164m). The company owns at least 6,500 charging points across the country.

The oil major has also ramped up its investments in the US mobile EV charging company FreeWire Technologies, its large EV spending share emphasising on the willingness and readiness of Big Oil company to tap into the electric era.

BP Technology Ventures equity investment by sector, 2009-2019

Source: BP, S&P Global, inspiratia

According to inspiratia‘s infrastructure index for electric vehicles 2019, the most attractive European markets are Germany (1st globally), the Netherlands (2nd), Norway (4th), France (5th) and the UK (6th). All have been host to significant investment in EV charging solutions of late.


On Monday, 13 May 2019, Shell outlined its intention to install 50 electric charging stations at its German petrol stations, providing approximately 100 charging points.

The company will cooperate with EnBW to install the network of stations. Approximately 2,000 of its local gas stations will also be upgraded, Shell being the first oil company in Germany to offer large-scale EV charging.

Hundreds of millions of euros are invested by the government in the country’s EV charging research and development sector. According to Germany’s National Platform for Electric Mobility, the public subsidies available to car buyers reached €1.2 billion (£1.1bn US$1.4bn), with a further €300 million (£269m US$339m) spent to upgrade the infrastructure.

As the sector is highly competitive, multiple partnerships are formed, with the latest announced on 28 June being the cooperation between Silicon Valley’s ChargePoint and Germany’s energy supplier MVV. The focus of the two companies will be the city of Mannheim, MVV’s headquarters, where ChargePoint will deploy its charging equipment.

Other market players are NewMotion and Shell’s Greenlots, Engie’s EVBox, Innogy, Tesla and BP’s Chargemaster.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is Europe’s EV charging innovation powerhouse, with new technologies debuting each year, one of the latest being the “hidden” charger developed by the Dutch start-up Blue Current, to be sold from July 2019 for a retail price of €995 (£893 US$1,123).

In May 2019, the Flexpower charging network transaction reached financial close. Flexpower is a system that uses less electricity for charging during the evening peak hours and catches up by using more at night. Vattenfall and Dutch utility Liander partnered with the City of Amsterdam to launch this smart-charging system.

Dutch charging point development underwent a sharp increase between 2013 and 2017, although growth has slowed recently, as shown in the graph below.

Number of Dutch charging points, 2010-Q2 2019

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency, inspiratia

However, there are still pockets of sizeable activity in certain regional environs, which are broken down in the chart below. 

Municipalities with the largest increase in charging points between February and March 2019

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency, inspiratia


A rapid electric car charging network is set to be introduced in the UK by Ionity, with chargers installed by the end of 2020.

The company, a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche has partnered with Extra MSA Group, a developer and operator of UK motorway service stations. Ionity will install HPC Stations across the UK, which will each comprise of six state-of-the-art 350 kW Chargers.

This development is part of the group’s target to introduce up to 2,400 chargers in 400 European sites, including the UK where they plan a deployment of 40 charging stations. 

UK’s Gridserve also revealed in June 2019 the details of a £1 billion (€1.1bn US$1.3bn) plan to deliver more than 100 EV charging forecourts across the UK. The solar power electric car stations will enable vehicles to charge their batteries in less than 10 minutes. The locations of 80 sites have already been confirmed, with at least 20 more in the pipeline.

At EVS Whistler 2019 the global EV charging and sustainability agenda will be placed under the microscope. Amidst ever-shifting market dynamics, attendees will gain insight from industry leaders on the following topics, amongst many more:

<![if !supportLists]>·         <![endif]>Charging infrastructure business models

<![if !supportLists]>·         <![endif]>The evolving renewable energy space and grid transformation

<![if !supportLists]>·         <![endif]>Policy leadership for a sustainable future

<![if !supportLists]>·         <![endif]>Progress in batteries and competing technologies