Sometimes, it’s a good thing to change your spots. Shell is doing a bit of that. Shell is not a name I think of at all in terms of clean air infrastructure. More often, I reflect on the problems of the oil company in places it should not be — rainforests, the Arctic, etc. Changing its spots, Shell is offering a new face with a clean air emphasis. Shell is planning a second choice in how it fuels up cars, and it is a good thing for once. Parts of Europe will see the beginning of the change. Some Shell stations in UK and Netherlands will reportedly be adding EV charging stations later this year.
Gas is not cheap at all in that part of the world. The push towards renewable, clean energy is strong in Europe. One of the benefits of electric cars is the convenient ability to charge at home, or perhaps at your workplace, the grocery store, IKEA, etc. However, installing EV charging stations at gas stations can be helpful to bridge gaps in charging infrastructure for those who are out and about and low on charge.
An earlier CleanTechnica story on Shell and solar energy showed an adaptive shift might be planned: “Solar energy will comprise the backbone of the world’s energy system in years to come, according to the CEO of Shell (yes, that Shell), Ben van Beurden.”
The interesting/odd thing is that, to avoid a visit to a gas station and not have to smell gas so closely is one of the reasons some of us prefer EVs. On the other hand, I do think this will help many less adventurous types to feel secure. It will also help to normalize the idea of electric cars. People like familiarity. On a long trip without other options, this is a good additional location, I admit, even if $ is at the root. Ever wonder how much $ gas stations bring in with those high-priced bottles of water and snacks?
Shell sees the chargers as a business opportunity to sell more snacks. “We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities,” John Abbott, Shell director of downstream business, commented in an interview with the Financial Times. “If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat.”
Inverse.com highlighted the new Shell story with a focus on Tesla charging, but it’s actually non-Tesla fully electric car drivers who could make more use of EV charging stalls at gas stations — Teslas have the most range by far, and they also benefit from access to a fairly widespread Tesla super-fast charging (Supercharging) network. Nonetheless, more charging stations could even help Tesla drivers. Also, note that Tesla is partnering with gas stations in some European countries (e.g., with Orlen in Poland) to install Superchargers.