Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has revealed that it will collaborate with carmakers to provide high-speed charging points in ten countries in Europe for electric cars. Royal Dutch Shell will form the partnership with Ionity, an operator of a charging network that has the backing of Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW and Ford. This will see Shell install EV chargers in 80 of its largest roadside filling stations.
With electric vehicles posing a long-term threat to oil demand, this is the latest step that Shell is taking with a view to finding alternative sources of revenue to compensate for the expected low demand of oil in the future. Last month Royal Dutch Shell agreed to acquire the biggest operator of charging points in Europe, NewMotion, which currently operates at 80,000 sites.
The points that Shell will install in conjunction with Ionity will be high-powered chargers which can top up a car in a period of between five to eight minutes. This is about three times faster compared to what is currently possible. By 2020 Ionity plans to have a network consisting of 400 fast-charging stations and the points that will be installed by Shell will be part of the network. Ionity is based in Munich, Germany and was set up last year by the biggest carmakers in Germany alongside American auto giant Ford.
The capacity of each charging point will be 350 kilowatts while the industry standard currently is 50 kilowatts. Raising the speed at which electric cars can be charged as well as increasing the mileage of electric cars on a single charge are critical in order for EVs to gain wide popularity.
“Demand for electric vehicle charging on Europe’s major highways is set to grow rapidly. We are pre-empting drivers’ need to charge quickly by becoming one of Ionity’s major partners, giving customers access to the fastest charge points,” said István Kapitány, the global retail boss at Shell.
In each of the sites, Shell will install six fast-charging points on average. This will be in the United Kingdom, Solvenia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.
Besides impacting the demand of oil, electric vehicles also pose a threat to Shell’s retail businesses as they serve an average of 30 million customers per day in its 40,000 fueling stations scattered around the globe. Other than the charging points for electric vehicles, Royal Dutch Shell is also investing in electricity trading and generation of wind power. The oil major also plans to start selling electricity directly to corporate customers in the UK beginning next year.