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BYD and Shell partner up to expand energy and charging solutions in China and Europe

Chinese EV automaker BYD announced it has found an unlikely partner in Shell to expand and promote a good deal of energy and charging technologies together throughout Europe and China. This includes EV charging network services, integrated home energy solutions, electric vehicle service centers, and more.

BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” is a Chinese automaker founded in 1995. BYD Auto, the subsidiary of BYD Co. Ltd., will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year as one of the largest auto manufacturers in China. In 2021 alone, BYD produced over 320,000 BEVs, second in the country to only SAIC.

Contrary to BYD, Royal Dutch Shell Group has a colorful history on the other side of the environmental spectrum. The oil and gas conglomerate carries a 115-year history decorated with human rights violations, thousands of gallons of oil spilled, not to mention the damning Paradise Papers from 2017.

To change the narrative, Shell Group has made recent efforts toward reparations by investing in clean energy, particularly EV infrastructure. In 2020, Shell doubled its EV charging presence in Germany to 200 stations, and purchased Ubitricity, the UK’s largest charging network.

In May of 2021, a court in the Netherlands ordered Shell to cut its 2019 carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. Previous to the ruling, Shell’s emissions reduction target was 20% by 2030. Last fall, we reported that Shell had found an EV partner in Chinese automaker NIO, focused particularly on developing battery-swap technologies.

Additionally, NIO customers in Europe would be able to soon utilize Shell’s charging network. Shell has now signed a similar agreement with fellow Chinese automaker BYD, and it appears to be taking clean energy expansion even further.

BYD Shell
A BYD Han EV charging at a Shell Recharge station / Source: BYD

Shell continues to promote EV adoption with BYD’s help

BYD shared news of its “global strategic cooperation agreement” via its WeChat account. Here are some of the planned collaborations for Europe and China:

  • BYD and Shell will establish a Mobility Service Provider (MSP) partnership in Europe.
    • Shell will provide membership services to BYD’s consumer and fleet customers, offering over 275,000 EV chargers on its roaming network.
  • The parties will explore opportunities to provide integrated home energy solutions.
    • This includes dynamic tariff scheduling, photovoltaic integration, home energy storage devices and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.
  • Jointly build “BYD-Shell Electric Vehicle Service Centers” in key European markets.
  • Explore the possibility of a global R&D partnership pertaining to battery performance and industry-leading charging.
  • Shell will study how to apply technologies and products like its E-Fluids and coolants to help BYD achieve cost savings and improve hardware performance.

BYD and Shell are also planning a joint venture in China to develop EV charging networks.
The JV will operate over 10,000 EV chargers beginning in Shenzhen, with plans to expand to other Chinese cities in the future. István Kapitány, Shell’s executive vice president of global retail, spoke to the new partnership with BYD:

Shell has ambitions to further expand its retail and mobility business in China, It also aims to support customers around the world to drive more electric cars in order to achieve carbon reduction goals. This partnership with BYD is an important step towards both goals. We look forward to working with BYD to create industry-leading, fast, convenient, safe and comfortable charging experience. Shell and BYD are committed to supporting innovation in this area and this global strategic partnership provides an exciting opportunity to take the charging experience for electric vehicle users to the next level.

Electrek’s Take

Okay Shell, I still think you’re a manifestation of pure greed and disregard for quality human life, but this is another step in the right direction. When we covered the news last fall that Shell had partnered with NIO, my main question was why there was a primary focus on battery swaps.

Yes, NIO is the global leader in the technology in terms of overall footprint, but with entry into Europe, it’s going to want to have access to Shell’s fast charger network, right? It seems to have done so to an extent, but not to the degree that BYD is now planning.

While BYD is a huge Chinese automaker, much of the news in this strategic agreement with Shell appears to be focused on EV charging in Europe. We’re here for it as long as it supports further EV adoption and ideally gives Shell a new, lucrative venture to pull its slavering gaze away from crude oil.

I’m interested to learn more about what these “home energy solutions” entail, plus tech like V2G could be huge for commercial EVs in Europe and beyond. Shell doesn’t currently seem super involved in home power storage, but perhaps with BYD, drivers can soon take advantage of one holistic home charging/storage system.

Time will tell, but I’ve still got my guard up on Shell.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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