The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will be partnering with a number of the world’s largest auto manufacturers on the previously announced IONITY electric vehicle superfast-charging network in Europe, according to recent reports.
The IONITY project will see a network of “ultra-fast” plug-in electric vehicle chargers installed throughout Europe along major highways, with each station providing up to 350 kilowatts of power. Unsurprisingly, the project is attractive to Shell, which has been hedging its bets on electric vehicles quite a lot in recent days, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of the Dutch-based EV charging network operator NewMotion.
Current plans are for the joint venture — which involves participation from Daimler, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen — to install the aforementioned ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) chargers at 80 or more highway sites in 2019 (and 400 by the end of 2020).
“Under Shell’s most aggressive projections the company expects the global electric vehicle fleet to grow from about 1% of the entire auto fleet today to 10% by 2025, displacing oil demand equating to about 800,000 barrels per day,” Reuters reports.
“With the IONITY technology, cars with advanced charging capacity of up to 350 kilowatts will take as little as 5 to 8 minutes to charge, Shell said. It can take several hours to charge a regular electric car today. … The 80 charging stations will be deployed in Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.”
And, of course, also in Germany, where plans call for the development of 20 stations.
“Customers want to go on long journeys in their electric vehicles and feel confident that there are reliable, comfortable, and convenient places to charge them quickly,” commented Shell’s head of retail Istvan Kapitany.
Interestingly, Kapitany was also quoted as saying that around a fourth of Shell’s fuel stations along highways in Europe would provide high-power electric vehicle charging services within just 2 years. That should be a game changer, eh?
We have been highlighting the critical importance of superfast charging stations for years, but the non-tesla industry apparently needed time to find it beneficial to develop electric cars capable of >100 kW charging, and thus a charging network that could provide such cars with such fast charging. It seems they now think it is time, and even Shell apparently believes so — or is hedging its bets.