Total Buys Car Charging-Point Provider in New Power-Market Foray

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA bought a French operator of car-charging points, adding to its electricity investments as oil companies prepare for an influx of low-emission cars.

Total purchased G2mobility from companies including cable maker Nexans SA for an undisclosed sum. It has made a string of power acquisitions in recent years, while European competitors have also invested in car charging as rising electric-vehicle use threatens to dent demand for gasoline and diesel.

The purchase of G2mobility will give Total almost 10,000 charging stations operated from a web platform, the company said Thursday. The French oil giant also plans to work with Nexans to speed up growth in electric-car infrastructure.

The deal follows Total’s recent investments in natural-gas vehicle fuels in Europe and the U.S., plus its purchase of utility Direct Energie SA and a minority stake in Eren Renewable Energy SA. It also bought Belgian power retailer Lampiris SA in 2016, as well as French battery maker Saft Groupe SA.

In June, British rival BP Plc announced a plan to buy U.K. car-charging company Chargemaster, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed last October to buy NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest charging providers.

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