Engie makes further EV charging inroads

Engie has acquired a UK-based provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure – the latest in a long line of M&A deals involving major energy companies, as they attempt to secure strategic positions in the fast-growing sector.

The French state-backed utility has bought ChargePoint Services (CPS), which owns and operates a UK-wide network of almost 200 chargers known as GeniePoint.

The target company – not to be confused with US-based ChargePoint – was founded by Alex Bamberg in 2010, and made its name supplying chargers for EVs used by athletes and officials during the London Olympics in 2012.

Other clients include Microsoft, Vodafone, Siemens and Network Rail as well as around 30 local authorities in the UK. Its work has also included managing Ecotricity’s Electric Highway network of motorway chargers.

Most recently, it joined forces with UK pub chain Ei Group to fit rapid chargers at the majority of the company’s 4,400 properties. It also has a deal with supermarket chain Morrisons to roll out 500 chargers between now and the end of 2020.

For Engie, which claims to already be the second largest provider of EV charging globally, having provided over 75,000 units worldwide, the deal forms part of its ambitions to become a leader in e-mobility.

The group already owns EVBox, the Dutch-based EV charging developer that at the time of Engie’s investment in March 2017 had deployed more than 40,000 charging stations across 20 countries.

More broadly, the transaction represents the latest chapter in a wider trend of power utilities and energy majors investing in the EV charging sector, which they see as a natural area for expansion given their expertise in generation and distribution.

The likes of Centrica, EDF, Enel, E.ON, innogy, Statkraft and Vattenfall – as well as BP, Shell and Total – have all made EV charging plays in the last two years.

In a similar vein to Engie, some have gone down the M&A route, such as Shell acquiring NewMotion and Greenlots, BP buying Chargemaster, Enel taking over eMotorWerks and Centrica investing in Driivz.


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