In a future where the world’s car fleet is rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream brought in by people stopping for gas but buying something at the convenience store.
Some oil companies have accepted that the transition is happening and started installing electric vehicle chargers at their gas stations. Shell is the latest major company to jump on board.
The company says that they will start deploying the charging stations in Britain and the Netherlands later this year.
Shell’s business director John Abbott revealed the new business plan to Financial Times (paywall):
“We have a number of countries where we’re looking at having battery charging facilities. If you are sitting charging your vehicle, you will want to have a coffee or something to eat.”
They didn’t reveal what kind of chargers they plan to use, but Abbott said that most electric cars will be able to charge up to 80% in 30 minutes – meaning that we are talking about level 3 DC fast-chargers.
The company expects that the transition “will take decades” and it is starting with Britain and the Netherlands for now. With 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the world, it would significantly increase the electric vehicle charging infrastructure if they decide to deploy stations at every location – though it’s unlikely at the moment.
But they are not the only oil company moving forward with the deployment of EV chargers at gas stations. Russia made it law that gas stations need to offer electric vehicle charging and Tesla started using gas stations as locations for its Superchargers.
By producing their own electricity, gas stations could also provide power to the charging stations they are installing.
Total, the major French multinational oil and gas company, announced last year a $300 million investment to install about 200 MW of solar capacity at 5,000 gas stations around the world.