The French energy supplier EDF is in talks about the acquisition of electric vehicle-charging start-up Pod Point.
The company is the latest utilities supplier to branch out into the global automotive sector.
Talks about a deal are understood to have been taking place for some time, Sky News first reported this morning.
Set up by Erik Fairbairn in 2009, Pod Point has roughly 1,700 public charging points across the UK, having agreements with Heathrow, Gatwick, Sainsbury’s and the National Trust, amongst others.
The start-up has also struck a partnership with car Peugeot-owner PSA Group, which today confirmed plans for a €45bn (£38.7bn) merger with Fiat Chrysler.
Further details of the talks between EDF and Pod Point, including the price, are currently tightly under wraps.
However, an insider said that EDF was looking to buy a controlling stake in the company. To do so it would have to buy out minority investors including Draper Esprit and QVentures.
Legal & General Ventures, which became a shareholder in Pod Point in March this year, is expected to retain its Pod Point stake if a sale is concluded.
EDF remained tight-lipped on the potential deal, declining to comment.
In a statement, Mr Fairbairn said that Pod Point did not comment on “specific rumours” but added: “Pod Point regularly explores different ways to finance its expansion and fund its national network of charging points.
“Examples of this include our current national rollout of charging points across Tesco stores and our recent fundraising with Legal and General which we completed in March of this year.”
The purchase of Pod Point would give EDF Energy a foothold in an area of the energy infrastructure market that is predicted to grow rapidly in the coming decades.
Although fewer than one per cent of the UK’s 32m vehicles are currently plug-in models, that proportion is set to soar amid an expansion of the required infrastructure and regulatory blocks to automotive pollution.
In the UK, the government has set a target through its Road to Zero strategy of making 70 per cent of new car sales in the ultra-low emissions category by 2030.
Main image credit: Getty