Shell has been making a push to expand its services to electric vehicles over the last year. They announced that they would start deploying electric car charging stations in Britain and the Netherlands and we even saw their first Shell-branded charging station last month.
But the oil giant is really accelerating its electric vehicle effort this week with the acquisition of a major charging network.
NewMotion, Europe’s largest electric charging partner with over 30,000 charging points and 80,000 electric car owners using their network, was acquired by Shell for an undisclosed amount.
Sytse Zuidema, CEO of NewMotion, said about the announcement:
“We are very pleased to have such a strong investor that fully supports our mission, enabling us to further expand across Europe at a time when the transition to electric vehicles is gathering pace. We are excited that our ongoing mission and belief in a transition towards less-polluting transport source has been endorsed so strongly by Shell, one of the world’s leading energy companies.”
The company will keep operating its network under its brand and Shell will help expand.
Matthew Tipper, Shell’s Vice President for New Fuels, said about the announcement:
“Today’s announcement is an early step towards ensuring customers can access a range of refueling choices over the coming decades, as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport fuels. This move provides customers the flexibility to charge their electric vehicles at home, work and on the go. When you add this customer offer to our current roll out of fast charging points on Shell forecourts, we believe we are developing the full raft of charge solutions required to support the future of EVs,”
Since NewMotion mainly sells and operates level 2 chargers for the residential and business markets, it looks like the effort is separate but complementing Shell’s deployment of fast-chargers at its gas stations.
In my opinion, it looks like Shell is starting to understand that electric car charging is extremely different from gas car refueling. With gas-powered cars, it all revolves around the gas stations, but with electric cars, most of the charging is done at home or wherever the cars are parked for an extended period of time.
Public charging stations are especially important for long-distance travel and that’s where DC fast-charging is important and what Shell is deploying at its gas stations.
Now with NewMotion, Shell also has its hand in home charging and charging at work. It’s starting to get interesting.