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The EV Charging Business of Utility Giant Engie Is Bleeding Cash

EV Box, the electric vehicle charging business of French utility giant Engie, booked another loss for the first quarter of this year, following a loss for full-year 2023, and is expected to record a loss in 2025, too, executives said on Friday.  

Engie reported on Friday lower group pre-tax earnings for the first quarter, due to a decline in natural gas prices and consumption. Excluding nuclear, Engie's earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by 3.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period of 2023. Q1 2024 was warmer than Q1 2023 and significantly warmer than average, the company said. Compared to last year, this resulted in lower volumes for French gas distribution activities and for French supply activities, Engie noted.

EV Box booked a loss of $24 million (22 million euros) for Q1, following a loss of $152 million (140 million euros) for 2023, Engie's chief financial officer Pierre-Francois Riolacci said, as carried by Reuters.

Next year, EV Box is also expected to post a loss, the executive said.

Engie has struggled to find a buyer for the loss-making EV charging business, which it acquired in 2017.

"Due to losses at EV Box, as well as the lack of success thus far from our measures to identify a potential buyer for this company, the Group is actively examining all options that could lead to disengage, in accordance with local regulations," Engie said in its Q1 earnings release today.

The EV markets in developed economies have struggled in recent months, amid slower-than-expected uptake of electric vehicles.

While the International Energy Agency (IEA) continues to hold a very bullish view on the global EV market, the auto industry is concerned about slowing EV sales with the phase-out of subsidies in key markets and consumers who are not yet convinced about affordability and range.

U.S. sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) fell in the first quarter, losing market share, while Europe's new car sales fell in March for the first time this year, dragged down by a decline in EV registrations and the timing of the Easter holidays. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.  More

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