Shell says it will start installing electric vehicle chargers at its gas stations this year

Shell Recharge Station
Shell Recharge Station. It's either do this or eventually shut down all your gas stations

UPDATE Earlier this year, oil giant Shell announced that they would start deploying electric car charging stations in Britain and the Netherlands.

Today, we get our first look at the custom charging stations that they are deploying and they look just like gas pumps.

Some oil companies are well aware of the world’s car fleet fast transition to electric vehicles and they are looking to adapt. As electric cars increase in popularity, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream from people stopping to get gas.

Shell now hopes they will stop to get a recharge instead.

In July, they contracted Allego to deploy and operate the new chargers and one was spotted for the first time last weekend.

Tesla Model S owner Dave Davis spotted it at a Shell petrol station in the town of Warlingham half an hour south of London. He shared a few pictures on Twitter:

Interestingly, they branded the station ‘Shell’ and they made it look a lot like gas pumps.

It features 3 ports for maximum compatibility: a CHAdeMO DC fast-charging port, a CCS DC fast-charging port, and a regular Mennekes (Type 2) port.

They are charging £0.25p/ kWh ($0.34 USD), which isn’t too big of a premium on local electricity rate, which ranges from £0.09p to 0.16p/ kWh in the UK.

But it’s still higher than what some drivers will want to pay. In comparison, Tesla’s Supercharger rate for the UK is currently listed at £0.20p per kWh.

Shell and Allego are talking about increasing the rate to £0.49p next year. If they do, it would render the station completely useless. Hopefully, they reconsider that.

Currently, Shell is only planning a few stations in the UK and the Netherlands, but with 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the world, it would significantly increase the electric vehicle charging infrastructure if they decide to deploy stations at every location – though it’s unlikely at the moment.

Gas stations wouldn’t necessarily be EV drivers’ first choice to stop to get a charge, but the more stations the better it will be for the adoption of electric vehicles.

As predicted by AR1.com a couple of years ago, if gas stations did not start converting their gas pumps to electric charging stations they would soon find themselves with no customers as electric cars replace cancer-causing internal combustion powered cars in 5 to 10 years

02/01/17

In a future where the world’s car fleet is rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream brought in by people stopping for gas but buying something at the convenience store.

Some oil companies have accepted that the transition is happening and started installing electric vehicle chargers at their gas stations. Shell is the latest major company to jump on board.

The company says that they will start deploying the charging stations in Britain and the Netherlands later this year.

Shell’s business director John Abbott revealed the new business plan to Financial Times (paywall):

“We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities. If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat."

They didn’t reveal what kind of chargers they plan to use, but Abbott said that most electric cars will be able to charge up to 80% in 30 minutes – meaning that we are talking about level 3 DC fast-chargers.

The company expects that the transition “will take decades" and it is starting with Britain and the Netherlands for now. With 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the world, it would significantly increase the electric vehicle charging infrastructure if they decide to deploy stations at every location – though it’s unlikely at the moment.

But they are not the only oil company moving forward with the deployment of EV chargers at gas stations. Russia made it law that gas stations need to offer electric vehicle charging and Tesla started using gas stations as locations for its Superchargers.

By producing their own electricity, gas stations could also provide power to the charging stations they are installing.

Total, the major French multinational oil and gas company, announced last year a $300 million investment to install about 200 MW of solar capacity at 5,000 gas stations around the world.

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