Shell is introducing electric chargers to UK petrol stations
Electric cars are great, but there are still two main reasons our roads aren’t filled with them: infrastructure and range anxiety. The latter looks like it’s about to disappear, because Shell has announced it’s installing EV chargers in UK petrol stations.
In an announcement yesterday, Shell stated it will be bringing 50kW chargers to selected petrol stations in both the UK and the Netherlands, and it represents a huge step for EVs. The first chargers will open around Greater London, Derby and the western part of the Netherlands, and the idea behind the scheme demonstrates an important shift in thinking.
Petrol companies have traditionally been hostile towards EV technology, and for good reason, but Shell’s plans are forward-thinking and intriguing. And they could give a huge boost to EV infrastructure both visually and in real terms, too. If electric chargers were as visually obvious as petrol stations, worries about charging infrastructure could be reduced. After all, drivers can’t avoid seeing a petrol station, but electric chargers are far easier to miss. Even just noticing more chargers around could persuade motorists to switch to EVs.
“We see that people are willing to shift towards electric mobility. But a lack of appropriate level of charging infrastructure and interoperable charging services is one of their main concerns,” said Anja van Niersen, CEO of Allego.
“Allego and Shell join forces by adding fast chargers at the right service stations. Shell now actively contributes in creating a reliable and open charging network. A network that is accessible for all EV drivers, despite the brand of the car.”
Speed vs compatibility
One of the most interesting things about this development is the chargers Shell and Allego have opted for, and the speed at which they can charge EVs. The 50kW chargers Shell will use are nowhere near the fastest, with Tesla chargers capable of something closer to 120kW. That means they’ll be compatible with cars such as the Nissan Leaf, but users won’t experience the fast charging experience that Tesla users enjoy. In fact, Tesla users won’t be able to use the chargers without a CHAdeMO adapter.