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.