Shell Acquires Greenlots To Accelerate EV Efforts

JAN 31 2019 BY MARK KANE 19

Shell enters EV charging in North America through acquisition

Royal Dutch Shell, through its subsidiary Shell New Energies US LLC, acquires Greenlots, the U.S.-based EV charging and energy management software and solution company.

The announced agreement envisions acquisitions of 100% of the company, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary.

According to the press release, under the wings of Shell, Greenlots expects to accelerate charging infrastructure deployment and management.

Greenlots revealed to us that the company already grew nearly tenfold since its inception. During tough times of developments of charging business, Greenlots got multimillion-dollar contracts supporting EV charging networks in the U.S. Its portfolio of customers includes Volvo, GM, The City of LA and Volkswagen/Electrify America.

“With this deal, Greenlots’ technology and team become the foundation for Shell’s continued expansion of electric mobility solutions in North America. Together, the companies will offer best in class software and services that enable large-scale deployment of smart charging infrastructure and integrate efficiently with advanced energy resources like solar, wind and power storage.”

“With Shell, Greenlots will intensify its growth efforts and expand its range of mobility services to utilities, cities, automakers, fleets and drivers around the world.  Greenlots will retain its brand identity and leadership team.”

For Shell, it’s a similar investment like in the case of NewMotion, acquired in Europe in 2017. The Dutch Big Oil company step by step is trying to secure its business in the dawn of the electric vehicle era.

Brett Hauser, Chief Executive Officer of Greenlots said:

“As power and mobility converge, there will be a seismic shift in how people and goods are transported. Electrification will enable a more connected, autonomous and personalized experience. Our technology, backed by the resources, scale and reach of Shell, will accelerate this transition to a future mobility ecosystem that is safer, cleaner and more accessible.”

Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President, New Energies for Shell said:

“As our customers’ needs evolve, we will increasingly offer a range of alternative energy sources, supported by digital technologies, to give people choice and the flexibility, wherever they need to go and whatever they drive. This latest investment in meeting the low-carbon energy needs of US drivers today is part of our wider efforts to make a better tomorrow. It is a step towards making EV charging more accessible and more attractive to utilities, businesses and communities.”

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19 Comments on "Shell Acquires Greenlots To Accelerate EV Efforts"

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This is several good news in one. Greenlots, at least in our area, has been struggling to keep “their” chargers operational; I am sure Shell, with their experience in the subject matter in Europe, will turn things around

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-27/shell-joins-automakers-to-offer-charging-stations-across-europe

Also it’s interesting to watch a “petrochemical corporation” like Shell evolve into an “diversified energy and mobility” company, which looks like a stronger foundation to stand on, and grow from in future.

Respectfully, I wouldn’t leap to any conclusions, positive or negative. Shell, with their vast resources, certainly has an opportunity to diversify and play a positive role the electrification of transportation. Will they? We’ll see.

I think Shell and other companies will realize very quickly that there is no money to be made in Level 3 charging. Certainly they will not see the absurd margins they have in the past, and their shareholders will quickly sour on further acquisitions in the space.

The extreme costs associated with installing Level 3 chargers is not something that can be scaled away, and any serious efforts to make it a standard will require many more thousands of dollars in battery backup for each charger.

So I’m happy for the folks at Greenlots who just cashed in after being acquired, but the structural problems of Level 3 charging are not going away.

You are thinking too small. The biggest hindrance to L3 deployment is our grid (politics) and to a lesser extent, expensive L3 charging equipment. Oil companies have pipelines and easements all across America. The vast majority of oil/gas/diesel moves along these pipelines, not in tanker trucks. Royal Dutch Shell is based in the Netherlands where a vast HVDC distribution system using state of the art HVDC tech is being installed. If Shell ran HVDC distro along established oil infrastructure routes in America, L3 chargers could be set with minimal charging equipment cost along the way. There would be no AC-DC converter necessary with only simple boost/buck DC regulation at the L3 charging stations. Very low maintenance. No demand charges or local utility shenanigans to put up with. Way less HVDC storage would be required and it could be distributed vice at every single location for the AC grid. Very low transmission costs with HVDC. Power purchase agreements with base load carbon free nuclear can be had for $.04 per kWh. Shell could sell DCFC at $.32 per kWh all day long (~ 800% gross profits). Huge potential upside if they go big and do it right.

Shell is a partner in the Ionity fast charger network in Europe. It is similar to the Electrify America network in the US in that they are planning on stations across the continent to allow long distance driving, similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network. Greenlots was chosen to help operate the Electrify America network so Shell will have some ownership of both.

Maybe they don’t get as much margin from fast charging as they do from gasoline, but it is probably better to keep a customer with lower margins than to lose him altogether, which is the alternative.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Takeover achieved! The entrepreneurs can now move on to suck in a different market.

Greenlots could drastically increase the number of charging stations available if they would just fix all of the broken ones they have in their network..

You do realize that fixing broken equipment requires money, right? Perhaps that’s what Shell will bring to the operation.

Dav8or,
Yes I do. None of us like to pay high rates for DCFC. But Greenlots charges far less than EVgo and I wonder if their low rates don’t allow enough money to keep their network functioning. EVgo seems to be far more responsive at keeping their DCFC working and perhaps it is their higher rates that allow them the funds to do that.

Well on one hand Shell could put more money into Greenlots then it’s founders could ever have imagined, which will be great for infrastructure growth. On the other hand, big oil does like to crush anything that could compete with gas and diesel, so be cautiously optimistic…..

Shell shareholders should be demanding more than this tiny step.
All Oil Company CAPEX should be 51% Solar and Wind plus Battery Storage system on the Gigawatt project size.

This tiny move doesn’t stop Shell’s bankruptcy in 15 years when other players have the electric market cornered.

Well, it can’t make them any worse… let’s hope the “Greenlots” label on a Plugshare listing won’t be synonymous with “broken” for much longer.

An oil company buying into EV charging? What could go wrong!
Hint: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries

In this case, not much. Greenlots is tiny player with few chargers. I encountered couple broken ones, and they were shown as working in plugshare. I don’t bother with GL anymore.

Isn’t Greenlots the EA network partner for the payment system coordination?

If I understand it correctly, Electrify Americas communication network, which is currently neither reliable or even functioning in many cases (see Plugshare reviews), is actually run by Greenlots. Greenlots pretty much needed to be drug out behind the barn and “taken care of” for a while. I thought that VW was going to do it and that was why they went with Greenlots over Chargepoint for the EA network…. But now this. Now Shell is taking over the infrastructure behind the struggling but soon to be most prevalent non-Tesla DCFC network. Shell has figured out the GUI and payment network for gas stations, so that could translate well to DCFC use. They also have tons of prime real estate (existing gas stations) to install chargers. History, on the other hand, would suggest their motives are probably to catch and kill. But we can be optimistic, right? Right…

Quality is job 1. Fix all the decaying, dead and dying greenlot chargers.

Shell is buying Greenlots for the carbon tax credits. This is how it works. In Canada, ZapBC will give you a free ChargePoint charger. You are obliged to keep it on the ChargePoint network for as long as you own it. All usage data will be given to ZapBC. Legal ownership of all emission and carbon reduction credits are transferred to ZapBC. Find & replace ZapBC with Shell, ChargePoint with Greenlots.

According to Nissan Carwings, my CO2 savings are about 5 tonnes/year. That is worth $175 in carbon taxes increasing to $250 in 2021. That is a pretty good deal for the sponsor, i.e. oil company. They cash in the carbon credits to offset their emissions and they collect data on EV charging patterns, EV adoption and the effects on their businesses. Nonetheless I think it is a fair trade to promote electric vehicles.

This doesn’t seem good. I went to EVs so I could stop giving money to fossil fuel companies.