Shell has signed an agreement to buy 100% of ubitricity, a European provider of on-street charging for electric vehicles (EVs).

Subject to regulatory clearance, the deal is expected to be completed later this year.

Founded in Berlin, Germany, ubitricity operates in a number of European countries and is the largest public EV charging network in the UK with more than 2,700 charge points (currently, 13% market share).

The company has also established emerging public charging positions in Germany and France and has installed more than 1,500 private charge points for fleet customers within Europe.

Ubitricity works with local authorities to integrate EV charging into existing street infrastructure such as lamp posts and bollards. The solution is useful for people who lack a private driveway but want to charge their EV overnight.

This acquisition marks Shell’s expansion into on-street EV charging market competencies, helping scale its overall EV charging offer. This already includes more than 1,000 ultra-fast and fast charging points at around 430 Shell retail sites, plus worldwide access to more than 185,000 third-party EV charging points at a range of public locations including forecourts and motorway service stations.

“Working with local authorities, we want to support the growing number of Shell customers who want to switch to an EV by making it as convenient as possible for them,” said Shell Global Mobility EVP, István Kapitány.

“On-street options such as the lamp post charging offered by ubitricity will be key for those who live and work in cities or have limited access to off-street parking. Whether at home, at work or on-the-go, we want to provide our customers with accessible and affordable EV charging options so they can charge up no matter where they are.”

For his part, ubitricity CEO, Lex Hartman, added: “What excites so many people about ubitricity is that our integration of EV charge points into existing on-street infrastructure makes EV charging easy and accessible for everyone who needs it, where they need it.

“Particularly in larger cities where there is limited access to off-street parking, this is the solution many people have been waiting for to allow them to transition to EV ownership. Combining this piece of the puzzle with Shell’s existing range of EV charging solutions gives EV drivers access to a full range of charging options.”

Shell’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner.

Once the deal is completed, ubitricity is expected to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell.