Earlier this year, oil giant Shell announced that they would start deploying electric car charging stations in Britain and the Netherlands.
Today, we get our first look at the custom charging stations that they are deploying and they look just like gas pumps.
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Some oil companies are well aware of the world’s car fleet fast transition to electric vehicles and they are looking to adapt. As electric cars increase in popularity, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream from people stopping to get gas.
Shell now hopes they will stop to get a recharge instead.
In July, they contracted Allego to deploy and operate the new chargers and one was spotted for the first time last weekend.
Tesla Model S owner Dave Davis spotted it at a Shell petrol station in the town of Warlingham half an hour south of London. He shared a few pictures on Twitter:
Interestingly, they branded the station ‘Shell’ and they made it look a lot like gas pumps.
It features 3 ports for maximum compatibility: a CHAdeMO DC fast-charging port, a CCS DC fast-charging port, and a regular Mennekes (Type 2) port.
They are charging £0.25p/ kWh ($0.34 USD), which isn’t too big of a premium on local electricity rate, which ranges from £0.09p to 0.16p/ kWh in the UK.
But it’s still higher than what some drivers will want to pay. In comparison, Tesla’s Supercharger rate for the UK is currently listed at £0.20p per kWh.
Shell and Allego are talking about increasing the rate to £0.49p next year. If they do, it would render the station completely useless. Hopefully, they reconsider that.
Currently, Shell is only planning a few stations in the UK and the Netherlands, but 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.
Gas stations wouldn’t necessarily be EV drivers’ first choice to stop to get a charge, but the more stations the better it will be for the adoption of electric vehicles.
It looks like Tesla was onto something with its mural of the “evolution” of gas stations at its factory in Fremont:
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.