By Andrew DentonThe BBC’s plug stock portfolio has been a hot topic this year, as it prepares to launch its next wave of plug products, which it hopes will help plug in cars, laptops, smartphones and other devices.
But it’s not just the BBC that’s investing in the technology, too.
Last month, the world’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen, confirmed it was working with Jaguar Land Rover to develop plug-in vehicles.
And in March, the US firm Ford announced it was looking at investing in PlugShares.
PlugShares has been around since 2016, and has been sold to two separate companies, with the BBC, in collaboration with its sister news organisation the Guardian, selling a stake in the company.
The BBC is the only major broadcaster to have invested in plug stocks, and it says it is looking to further diversify its investment in plug-ins.
“Our focus will be on new technologies, such as electric vehicles, plug-and-play devices, and other products that will bring plug- and-play functionality to the market,” said Jeremy Cooke, head of news at the BBC.
“The BBC has long been a leader in technology and has invested in a range of plug-tech companies over the past decade.”
And the BBC has also made a big investment in PlugShare, which is now owned by Jaguar Land Rovers parent company, Jaguar Land.
In 2018, the BBC bought a controlling stake in Plug shares for £300m ($470m).
The company will also be selling its remaining shares, and the BBC says it will invest in plug technology companies.
Plug shares have been around for a while, but it is the latest in a long line of plug stocks.
Earlier this year it also sold its plug shares to an Australian firm, which now controls the plug-stock market in Australia.
Plug stock is already used by thousands of companies, and its rapid growth has been helped by a surge in interest in the product.
And the move is being seen as a sign of the BBC’s desire to diversify and invest in other sectors, such, for example, in electric vehicles.
PlugShare has been selling plug shares since 2016The BBC and Jaguar Landrovers said they were excited about the prospects of plug shares, which are already used in more than 80,000 vehicles worldwide.
“PlugShares are a fast-growing and hugely popular technology, which has helped to drive the plug car industry,” said Simon McEwan, BBC UK news and current affairs editor.
“We look forward to working with the Jaguar Landowners to see how we can further diversification in the market, to support the UK’s future electric vehicle growth.”
PlugShares, which will be sold to a consortium of car manufacturers, car brands and electric vehicle companies, is set to be the BBCs second-biggest asset under the company’s investment strategy.
The £300 million investment is the equivalent of £400m of investment in the whole of the plug stock market.
That investment is made up of £300,000 in plug shares and a £400,000 loan, which the BBC said will be used to help plug-share companies with capital needed to grow.
The loan will cover the company until plug stocks are sold.
“With the new plug stocks being sold, we’re aiming to be a very active investor in the future,” said Mr Cooke.
“Our investment in Jaguar Land has seen it gain a reputation for having the most innovative plug-technology portfolio, and we hope to be even more successful in building that portfolio with the new PlugShares.”
PlugShare shares are owned by the BBC and the car companies that sell them.
BBC News said the plug stocks will be part of the “£400m PlugShares Fund”, which will provide investment to the BBC in plug technologies, and which will include investment in other companies that make plug products.
Plug stocks have also been used by major car brands, such.
General Motors, Ford and Jaguar.