Published on March 10th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Shell Reinventing Fuel Stations In England
500,000 Electric Charging Stations Within Four Years
Shell is looking ahead at moving quickly into providing charging stations for electric vehicles at its existing fuel stations and even building new stations that cater specifically for electric vehicles.
As European nations move quickly to adopt lower emissions, starting with the ban of petrol and diesel powered vehicles in major city centers, Shell does not want to be left behind and wants to be a leader in providing charging facilities and even human recharge facilities. Yes, Shell wants their charging stations to be a place where the drives and their passengers can get a beverage and meal while waiting. A place to ‘hangout’ and just ‘chill’.
“Project Evelyn is an energy hub where you can recharge yourself and recharge your car,” says Bernie Williamson, general retail manager at Shell UK.
“Exactly when we’ll start rolling out more sites on the same lines is hard to say but Shell supports the ban on internal-combustion-engined vehicles and aims to be the leading rapid charger on the go.”
Shell unveiled its first 50kW EV rapid-charging post, capable of recharging a battery from zero to 80% in 30 minutes, at its Holloway Road service station in north London in October 2017. Nine more followed in quick succession.
By 2021, it plans to have a combination of 200 rapid (50kW) and ultra-rapid (150kW) chargers on forecourts located on major routes across the UK. Going forward, all of its new or upgraded chargers will be ultra-rapid. These rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are in addition to the large network of fast chargers available on local roads that are managed by Shell’s NewMotion charging division.
Meanwhile, by the end of 2020, the company plans to have three 350kW chargers in operation, eclipsing Tesla’s 250kW V3 Superchargers. As they do now, all of Shell’s chargers will dispense renewable electricity.
So that’s the car’s battery taken care of, but while you’re waiting, you can recharge yourself with a ‘Jamie Oliver deli by Shell’ sarnie. The upmarket snack range will feature in Shell’s Fulham EV-only service station, highlighting that the forecourt of tomorrow is expected to be more than simply a recharging destination.
“Shell is strong in the convenience sector,” says Williamson. “One in three of our transactions is shopping, not buying fuel. While they wait for their car to recharge, we expect customers to want to catch up with their shopping, have a coffee or, where space allows, do something like click and collect. We call it ‘taking care of yourself and your car’.
“The coronavirus epidemic has proved to be a dress rehearsal for how we see things evolving, with people increasingly keen to do as many things as possible in one place. The fact that over 75% of the population are within 15 minutes of a Shell service station means we’re in a perfect position to help them.”
Shell’s research also shows that EV drivers value good network coverage with accurate charge post availability updates, compatible and reliable chargers (early models suffered cooling issues that, the firm says, have since been resolved) and convenient payment systems.
On that point, the Shell Recharge card and app provide access to 135,000 public charge points across Europe and allow drivers to pay for power contactlessly. Rates change daily (at the time of writing, a kilowatt cost 39 pence, around the upper end of the price spectrum, or 36p for Recharge card holders) and users are encouraged to keep their eye on offers.
Sean Walters, an early adopter of EVs who owns a Mitsubishi i-Miev, Peugeot iOn and Kia Soul EV, welcomes Shell’s plans for solus EV charging stations. He says: “London, especially, needs one since, in my experience, many charging points are occupied by taxis even though they have access to their own dedicated chargers.”