Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) has partnered with a consortium involving some of Europe’s largest carmakers to build a network of EV fast-charging stations across the continent. Initially, the charging stations will be installed at 80 highway Shell sites, beginning in 2019. Drivers of latest-generation electric cars will be able to charge in as low as five to ten minutes.
The move is part of Shell’s switch to new revenue sources and follows its acquisition of Europe’s largest EV charging network NewMotion. The company has more than 30,000 private home charging points and 50,000 public charging sites.
Just a few days after the acquisition was announced, Shell said it will be launching its own fast-charging points at three Shell-branded fuel stations in the UK. The Shell Recharge points, however, take a bit longer to charge—about half an hour.
The carmakers consortium, dubbed Ionity, involves Daimler, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Porsche, and Audi. Its stated purpose is to build a fast-charging EV network across Europe, to reach 400 locations by 2020. This year, the consortium will build 20 such points with a charging capacity of up to 350 kW ensuring the fast charging times, and compatible with “current and future generations of electric vehicles,” thanks to its Combined Charging System.
The new partnership is the latest indication that regardless of skeptics’ warnings that EVs have yet to take off and it will be years before they make any palpable difference in oil demand. Even oil major Shell, according to Reuters, expects the portion of electric cars to rise from today’s 1 percent to a tenth by 2025, removing oil demand to the tune of 800,000 bpd.
At the moment, there are 120,000 EV charging points in Europe, a triple increase from 2014. The founders of Ionity all have an EV pipeline and ambitious goals. Volkswagen alone plans to spend more than US$23 billion on EVs and batteries by 2035. Daimler is allocating US$11.8 billion to EV and battery development. Ford is planning to release 13 EV models over the next five years.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com