In Brief

Shell launches first EV charging stations in the UK

Recharge will cost around £20 for electric hatchbacks, and £50 for saloons

Royal Dutch Shell has opened its first electric vehicle charging stations in the UK as part of the oil giant’s plan to expand beyond the sale of fossil fuels.  

Owners of EVs and plug-in hybrids can access the charging points at Shell stations in London, Surrey and Derby. The company plans to add a further seven in London and Reading by the end of the year. 

Shell says its rapid chargers can take most EV batteries from zero to 80% in around 30 minutes. Each charging station also has its own Wi-Fi system for drivers to access while they wait. 

The Guardian reports that drivers using Shell’s recharging stations will have to pay 25p per kWh of charge until next June, when the price will nearly double to the standard price of 49p per kWh. 

At this standard price, charging a small electric hatchback such as a Nissan Leaf will cost owners around £20, says the newspaper, while the cost for high-end saloons with larger battery packs such as the Tesla Model S will be closer to £50. 

The news comes a week after Shell announced its acquisition of NewMotion, “one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging networks”, says The Independent.

“Oil companies are increasingly aware of the threat to parts of their downstream business from electric transport,” the website says. Shell’s rival BP is also in talks with electric carmakers “about partnering to offer charging stations at its retail sites”.

Although EVs only account for “about 1% of global car sales and an even smaller fraction of cars on the road”, says the Financial Times, the market is growing rapidly.

This trend is “forcing oil companies to confront an increasing likelihood that global oil demand will slow and eventually decline over the next few decades”, the paper adds. 

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