European oil companies are getting into the EV charging business in a big way—whether that’s a good thing remains to be seen, but Shell’s new “EV hub” in London certainly looks impressive.
The oil giant, which currently operates a network of nearly 8,000 EV charging points, has converted an existing petrol station in Fulham, central London, to an electric vehicle charging hub that features ten 175 kW DC fast-charging stations, built by Australian manufacturer Tritium. The hub will offer “a comfortable seating area for waiting EV drivers,” along with a Costa Coffee store and a Little Waitrose & Partners shop.
The hub features solar panels on the roof, and Shell says the chargers will be powered by 100% certified renewable electricity. It may be open for business by the time you read this.
Above: A look at the designer behind Shell's first electric-only charging station powered by renewables (YouTube: Shell)
Many urban dwellers in the UK, who would otherwise be likely EV buyers, don’t have the option of installing charging at home, as they have no assigned parking spaces, and rely on on-street parking. This is a thorny problem, and it remains to be seen whether “charging hubs” are a viable solution (not having to visit gas stations is generally considered one of the major benefits of EV ownership).
Shell launched a similar EV hub in Paris earlier this year. The company is also pursuing other ways to provide charging for the drivewayless masses. It aims to install 50,000 ubitricity on-street charging posts across the UK by 2025, and is collaborating with grocery chain Waitrose in the UK to install 800 charging points at stores by 2025.