In a sign of changing driving habits, Shell has opened an all-electric charging hub for electric vehicles (EVs) on the site of a former petrol station.
With hypermarkets selling much of the petrol and diesel people consume, the number of petrol stations has declined from about 13,000 in 2020 to just over 8,000. Shell’s new hub on Fulham Road in South West London represents a potential new way to get value from existing sites. It hosts nine ultra-rapid 175 kW chargers, allowing customers to get from zero to 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes. Free Wi-Fi is also available, or customers can spend their time in the onsite coffee shop or mini market.
Shell is already engaged with EVs and produces transmission oil, coolant and grease products designed specifically for these vehicles. It also has charging points at its petrol station forecourts, with plans to enlarge this network to 5,000 charging points by 2025.
A statement from the company said:
“The number of pure-electric vehicles on UK roads is steadily increasing. According to the UK Government, in early 2010 there were around 9,000 ultra-low emissions vehicles, or ULEVs, in the UK. By early 2020, ten years later, this number had risen to 317,000. That is an increase of over 3,000%.”
The company added, however, that for this growth to continue, the potential buyers of EVs needed to be sure that they would be able to charge their vehicles quickly and conveniently, which is why the company has been gradually ramping up its charging network.