Shell to install EV charging at gas stations

Shell Gas Station - Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Are even oil companies starting to hop on the EV bandwagon? Giant multinational Shell has confirmed plans to add EV charging points to some of its gas stations in the UK and the Netherlands. The first EV chargers may be installed before the end of 2017.

“We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities,” Shell’s Business Director John Abbott told the Financial Times. “If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat.”

The new offering could actually fit in well with gas stations’ modern business model – these days they make little or no profit on selling fuel, but earn most of their money from food and convenience store items. It would also be an efficient use of existing infrastructure that is already in place. There are some 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the world, most of them conveniently located in busy urban areas.

Abbott didn’t reveal what kind of EVSE the company plans to use, but said that most EVs will be able to charge to 80% in 30 minutes, which implies that the units will be DC fast chargers.

“If we want to be a part of that future system, we’ve got to listen to [customers’] needs and expectations,” Abbott continued. “What form of transport will people choose in the future? How will they power it? Where will they go to find their fuel of choice?”

Shell is not the only company exploring the idea of EV chargers at gas stations. Italy’s Eni already has charging facilities at some of its outlets, and France’s Total said it was “studying the viability” of installing charging points. Tesla has been talking with several chains about installing Superchargers at their gas stations.



Source: Financial Times, Futurism, Electrek
Image: Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

  • Matt Falcon

    I’d been expecting this to happen much sooner. 😉 At this point, it can’t come fast enough!

  • EVman

    Why only offer this service at these locations. California EV is bigger than these two nations combined?
    I still applaud the business sense of this man.

    • Brandon

      After doing some research, I learned that the UK is at a market penetration of 3.4%. Norway is at 5%. These are market penetration percentages from the end of 2016.
      Here in the U.S. we are at 0.2%.

      In California at the end of 2016 there were 270,000 EVs. I couldn’t find the total number of vehicles in CA at the end of 2016, but in 2015 there were 14.5 million. That’s 1.86% of vehicles that are EVs in CA. If it’s figured that there are 15 million vehicles at the end of 2016, then the market penetration percent only changes slightly to 1.80%.

      So in California we are at almost half the penetration of EVs as the U.K.

      Interesting eh?

  • TBex

    Pointless idea. Gas stations are gross and usually not walkable to places anyone would want to kill time while their car charges. EV chargers belong in parking garages under mixed-use developments where people can spend time away from their car, not in hazardous gas stations drenched in ICE fumes with maybe a depressing convenience store to shop in while you charge.

    • Benjamin Nead

      Your concerns are valid. But I still can’t fault a petroleum super-giant for at least taking baby steps towards the future. What’s needed, as you point out, is an entirely different environment than the currently-dreadful business model of roadside ICE fueling stations, which encourages crappy fast food and getting the hell out of there as soon as the gasoline is pumped.

      Smart entrepreneurs, instead, should be designing pleasant short-term destination points, where one could be encouraged to spend that 20 minutes or half hour needed for EV charging to sit down to consume healthier foodstuff and relax/plan for the trip ahead . . . a redoing of the old roadside diner, perhaps, but brought into the 21st century.

      How about a Starbucks-style eatery/cafe, with free WiFi and nice landscaping outside? . . . including a fenced-off play area for kids, supervised by responsible adults? So far, I haven’t seen any corporation seriously addressing this idea.
      The possible exception would be current Tesla Supercharging stations that are
      placed near sit-down restaurants. But even this could be taken a
      step or two forward and refined.

  • Stian Mathisen

    Here in Norway there are charging stations from Fortum (the company where I work) at several Shell gas stations. Here’s an energy station (as they’re called now – providing energy for both cars and humans) located right outside of Oslo, which has two DC fast chargers (both with combined CCS/Chademo outlets) and two AC 22 kW type 2 chargers:

  • brian_gilbert

    In Dec 2016 a research breakthrough claimed by Aigmented Optics said hat supercapacitors would be able to equal or exceed the capacity of lithium ion batteries. If this goes into production it could mean recharging a car as fast as refilling the tank. That would suit existing petrol stations as they are not designed to have their parking spaces occupied for long periods.