CLEAResult, owned by TPG Growth and TPG Rise, earlier this week beefed up its portfolio by acquiring ChooseEV, a platform for electric vehicle (EV) market awareness and education tools across North America.
This deal is in line with the decarbonization strategy and the growth trajectory of clean energy that TPG, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, is pursuing. Partner Scott Gilbertson explained to PE Hub in an interview that there is so much growth in the EV sector that this deal will help unlock.
“It creates customer empowerment as they can have knowledge and tools to think about purchases that they make or how they can best optimize the purchases they have already made,” Gilbertson said.
Headquartered in Austin and operating in almost 60 cities across US and Canada, CLEAResult provides energy efficiency, energy transition and decarbonization solutions in North America. It employs more than 2,400 people.
TPG believed ChooseEV’s tech capabilities, vision, mission and expertise in electric vehicles would complement CLEAResult’s tech stack and company. “It is really a symbiotic relationship. They believe deeply in their mission and know that they can get broader, deeper, and further as part of CLEAResult.”
CLEAResult CEO Rich McBee said in a statement that ChooseEV’s expertise in consumer engagement and accelerating the adoption of new technologies will help in shaping CLEAResult’s technology approach to the energy transition.
As part of the deal, ChooseEV will be merged into CLEAResult, although it will maintain some autonomy to pursue its mission and vision.
Growth and acceleration
Gilbertson said growth for this platform will come from two factors: the rapid adoption of electric vehicles over the next decade and the ability to scale the ChooseEV platform for other verticals.
“I think we have a set of circumstances now that are very fertile for the acceleration of electric vehicles,” he said. “Historically, the unit cost of operating an electric vehicle was cheaper but the total cost of ownership was expensive. I think the democratization of vehicles and the knowledge of these EVs and charging locations is going to create a meaningful acceleration of electric vehicle adoption.”
With rising fuel prices, many consumers are set to turn to EVs in future as the government prioritizes building enabling infrastructure such as charging systems, Gilbertson said. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed by President Joe Biden last year, has significant funding that supports the growth of EVs.
The regulatory landscape from different states can also be used to entice people to rapidly adopt EVs, Gilbertson said.
Regarding the ChooseEV technology itself, Gilbertson said it’s scalable to create a bigger platform that falls under the broader TPG clean energy and energy efficiency umbrella. “Not only do we think this is the perfect tool for electric vehicles but we also think the tool can be adapted for other verticals for us and so we see a lot of opportunities to further integrate ChooseEV into the CLEAResult offering.”
While PE firms are playing a role in the clean energy space by deploying capital for infrastructure development and building capabilities, Gilbertson said an investment in education and awareness plays a critical part in decarbonizing the world.
“We are focused on investments in businesses that are pursuing decarbonization across industries and specifically enabling technologies that democratize access to decarbonization strategies so that every single household, every single small business and every single large business can find small ways to make a difference because it really adds up.”
TPG has invested in other EV platforms over the years, among them Rad Power Bikes, an investment into UK based EV charging network GRIDSERVE and an investment into Tata Motors in 2021 and another investment last month into BETA Technologies, a developer of a fully integrated electric aviation system.
To read more about private equity investments in EVs, click here