More than $4.8 billion has been injected into the electric vehicle charging industry this year – a combination of rollout announcements, debt financing, investments and acquisitions. And it was only transactions that revealed financial figures.
Big companies are competing for M&A targets with pure-play billing companies they may have already acquired, and new competitors are emerging. The appetite of infrastructure investment funds is growing as they see electric vehicle charging as a maturing asset class. Explosive growth is still needed to move from billions of single-digit investments today to hundreds of billions of investments over the next two decades.
Some of the biggest rollouts this year include a €1 billion ($1 billion) announcement by BP and Iberdrola for 11,000 fast chargers across Europe, and a $650 million investment in the United States. by Blackrock, Daimler Truck and NextEra Energy Resources. Electrify America also received a $450 million injection from parent company Volkswagen and Siemens for its US charging network.
French energy storage and electric vehicle charging provider NW Storm raised €300m, fast-charging maker Freewire raised $125m and charging operator EVCS raised $69m. Major UK charging companies also celebrated, with Raw Charging and Gridserve raising £250m ($301m) and £200m, and Instavolt securing £110m in debt funding.
BloombergNEF estimates that more than 73% of investment in public charging stations implemented globally in 2021 went to ultra-fast charging. As the subsector continues to dominate investor funding this year, the entire electric vehicle charging supply chain is attracting investment.
Trickle charging operators, software platforms, installers, charging component manufacturers and wireless charging companies have all received investment. Backers and large charging companies are scouring the EV charging space to find the right parts to fill their technology and regional gaps.
Large companies such as Siemens (Electrify America and WiTricity), Shell (Cable Energia and NWG Charging), ABB (InCharge Energy, Numocity, Chargedot) and Schneider Electric (EV Connect) are good examples. But smaller companies are also stepping up their M&A game.
Blink Charging has acquired US competitor SemaConnect for $200 million and Britain’s EB Charging for around $23.4 million. Wallbox announced two acquisitions last week: installer Coil and circuit board manufacturer Ares Electronics.
New players continue to emerge, spurred by rapid growth and the huge availability of public funds. Voltera is an example of a new company launched this month with backing from EQT Infrastructure, a fund with €77 billion under management.
BNEF expects cumulative investment in charging to exceed $360 billion globally by 2030 and over $1 trillion by 2040 to meet the needs of the electric vehicle fleet. More than $1.4 trillion is needed in a net zero scenario where the entire vehicle fleet is on track to be electric by 2050. About 60% of this investment should be used to put fast chargers DC between 50 kilowatts and 1000 kW in the ground.
To continue to advance investor confidence and meet demands over the coming decades, charging companies will need to show that they can scale at a profitable pace. The cost base for electric vehicle charging is still evolving and business models have yet to be proven.