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Preparing for a New Mobility Future

Shell USA Inc. is growing its reach with electric vehicle drivers through a $169M acquisition deal for Volta Inc.
an energy gauge for an EV

Convenience store industry watchers are accustomed to reading about companies joining forces — some in blockbuster deals with blockbuster price tags and, more recently, others in smaller strategic transactions as companies look to slowly grow their reach.

A recent notable deal is a little bit of both, although it has nothing to do with convenience stores changing hands. As Convenience Store News reported on Jan. 19, Shell USA Inc. agreed to acquire electric vehicle (EV) charging and media company Volta Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $169 million.

The pending transaction will certainly grow Shell's reach, but not geographically. Instead, it will grow the energy company's reach with new customers: the EV driver base.

Volta's assets include an existing public EV charging network of more than 3,000 charge points at destination sites across 31 U.S. states and territories, as well as a development pipeline of more than 3,400 additional charge points and capabilities to continue developing, operating and monetizing EV charging infrastructure.

Beyond providing a charging service, Volta also specializes in generating advertising revenues from screens embedded into the charge points. 

The EV market may not be growing as quickly as some had hoped, or predicted, but the mobility shift is happening. A cynical person may see this acquisition as a case of "if you can't beat them, join them," but more than likely Shell realizes that meeting the energy needs of consumers goes beyond the needs of today.

Preparation is everything when change is inevitable. 

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