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Clean Vehicles

Charging Network EVgo Going Public Via SPAC Merger

The deal will value the combined company at $2.6 billion and net EVgo up to $575 million

EVgo, the nation’s largest public electric vehicle fast-charging network, is going public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation (CRIS). The news sent CRIS shares surging up to 80 percent Friday. 

The deal is expected to value the electric vehicle charging station provider at $2.6 billion and net the LS Power-owned company around $575 million to continue to grow its operations, according to the joint press release. The planned deal has been approved by both companies’ board of directors and is set to close in the second quarter of 2021.

When the merger closes EVgo will have a spot on the New York Stock Exchange  and be publicly listed under the ticker symbol “EVGO.” According to the announcement, the transaction will “further elevate EVgo’s position as an industry-leading builder, owner, and operator of public EV fast charging in the U.S. by funding and accelerating the company’s growth strategy.”

As part of the deal’s announcement CEO of CRIS David Crane said EVgo “has a distinct and highly advantageous owner-operator business model, supported by strategic partnerships with key industry players singularly focused on an essential and growing factor necessary for supporting widespread EV adoption.” Crane noted that EVgo’s network “is unparalleled, and we are proud to be a part of its ongoing success.” 

Crane, who launched CRIS, is the former CEO of NRG Energy – a large energy company that helped EVgo get its start in 2010 as reported by The Verge.

EVgo, whose charging network is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, joins the ranks of other EV industry players Lordstown Motors, Canoo, and Fisker Inc. in going public. 

The news comes as investors flock to take part in the flood of success and innovation in the EV sector, largely fueled by Tesla’s valuation dominance. But Tesla isn’t the only automaker benefiting from EV hype. Even Ford and General Motors (GM), which have for years struggled to nab investors, have recently seen shares surge thanks to EV-related announcements and initiatives. 

“EVgo’s extensive nationwide network and deep relationships with its customers and other stakeholders create a real competitive advantage for the company, and this business combination, which will both fully fund and accelerate the company’s growth plans, positions EVgo to further strengthen its market-leading position,” said David Nanus, LS Power’s Co-Head of Private Equity and EVgo Chairman.

Last summer, GM and EVgo announced that they would partner to add more than 2,700 new fast chargers to cities and suburbs over the next five years in a move to accelerate the adoption of EVs by making charging more accessible. The move will triple the size of EVgo’s already more than 800-station, 34-state strong network, with installation on the new stations beginning early this year. EVgo, which serves more than 220,000 drivers a year, has also partnered with Uber and Lyft to accelerate rideshare electrification by supplying chargers.

“An estimated 30 percent of Americans do not have access to at-home charging, and EVs will be increasingly deployed by fleets to transport goods and people in an environmentally-friendly way,” emphasized EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi. “Time is precious for all of us, so a public fast-charging option with an expanding footprint like EVgo is essential to meet the rapidly growing needs of EV drivers of all types.”

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