Shell fits UK forecourts with EV rapid chargers

Shell is opening a range of rapid charging service systems across its UK petrol stations, with plans already in place to deploy more charging infrastructure by the end of the year.

Drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) will be able to charge batteries to 80% of total capacity in half an hour at Shell forecourts in London, Surrey and Derby from today (18 October). A total of seven additional services stations in Greater London and Reading will be fitted with the rapid chargers by 2018.

The fossil fuel giant is reacting to the ongoing electrification of the transport sector by fitting its petrol forecourts with charging infrastructure, called Shell Recharge. The move comes just days after the firm purchased Dutch company NewMotion, which has fitted 30,000 charging points at homes and offices across Europe.

Shell’s UK future fuels manager Jane Lindsay-Green said: “Shell Recharge provides Electric Vehicle drivers with a convenient way to charge their cars on-the-go. We’re pleased to offer rapid electric charging on the forecourt, allowing us to broaden the range of fuel choices we deliver.

“Shell Recharge will soon be available at ten sites in the UK and will offer EV drivers in these areas a reliable, convenient and subscription-free charging service where they can charge their vehicle and take a break from their journey.”

UK first

The UK is the first country where Shell Recharge will be available and builds on the opening of Shell’s first hydrogen refuelling station at Cobham earlier this year. The charge points, which are rapid 50kW chargers compatible with most vehicles, will be managed by fellow Dutch firm Allego.

Shell collaborated with Transport for London (TfL) to install charging points to match the ambition of the Mayor of London’s goal for a zero-emission capital by 2050. Commenting on the announcement, the Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues highlighted the importance of available EV infrastructure.

“It is great news that Shell is introducing electric vehicle charging services on its forecourts as thousands more Londoners switch to cleaner cars,” Rodrigues said. “With sales of diesel cars declining, it’s vital to have charging points for electric vehicles in service stations, car parks and on our streets.

“As the Mayor moves towards making London’s transport system zero-emission by 2050, TfL are working with boroughs to increase charging infrastructure across our city. The expansion we require will continue to demand strong collaboration with industry, private landowners and greater investment from Government.”

The Greater London Authority (GLA) and TfL have already allocated £4.5m to 25 London boroughs to roll-out 1,500 new charging points for EVs across the capital. At a recent Aldersgate Group discussion, experts claimed that efforts to transform London into a zero-emissions capital need to be backed by policy guidance that brings car manufacturers, network operators and innovators together to ensure that the capital isn’t littered with “white elephants” and “stranded assets“.

In relevant news, Dutch company Fastned has rolled out a charging service that negates the need for an app or a charge card. Autocharge works at Fastned stations where the infrastructure recognises the car, to make charging faster. The rollout has only started with a small group of users, but the technology is available on an open standard so could be rolled out quickly.

Autocharge uses a “unique car identifier” which is transmitted to the fast charger. After a one-time registration, Fastned infrastructure will recognise the vehicle and automatically credit it.

Matt Mace

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