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Shell continues to develop EV charging business

Royal Dutch Shell has announced further interest in the global electric vehicle charging business.

Shell is to partner with the likes of Ford, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen to offer high speed charging points for EVs in 10 European countries.
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The oil and gas group, looking to diversify into this market as pressure continues to be exerted on its core fossil fuel-based operations, à‚ will partner with a charging network operator called Ionity to provide EV chargers at 80 of its biggest roadside filling stations.

It comes on the back of the Anglo-Dutch company’s acquisition last month of NewMotion, Europe’s largest electric charging points operator with a network of 80,000 sites.

The points to be installed in partnership with Ionity involve high-powered chargers capable of topping-up an electric car in five to eight minutes ࢀ” up to three times faster than is currently possible. The Shell sites will form part of a network of 400 fast-charging stations planned by Ionity by 2020. The Munich-based joint-venture was set up in 2016 by Germany’s biggest carmakers and Ford.

Each charging point will have a capacity of 350 kilowatts, compared with today’s industry standard of 50kW. Increasing the speed of charging and the distance that can be driven on a single charge are seen as critical to increasing the appeal of EVs.

“Customers want to go on long journeys in their electric vehicles and feel confident that there are reliableࢀ‰.ࢀ‰.ࢀ‰.ࢀ‰places to charge them quickly,” said Istvàƒ¡n Kapitàƒ¡ny, head of retail for Shell.

An average of six fast-charging points will be installed at each of the 80 sites chosen by Shell in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK.

EVs are seen as one of the biggest disruptive forces in the energy market because passenger cars account for more than a quarter of global demand for oil. As well as the impact on crude oil sales, EVs also threaten the retail businesses of companies such as Shell, which serves 30m customers a day at its 40,000 filling stations around the world. Most oil executives argue that the transition to EVs will take several decades and that demand for oil will continue to grow in the meantime, but Shell’s strategy shows that parts of the industry are beginning to adapt to the changing energy landscape.

Shell is also making investments in wind power generation and electricity trading.

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