Shell is among the largest fuel retailers in the world with over 46,000 points of retail in 80 countries. The $650 Bn “energy conglomerate” as it is known in current times has taken a tectonic shift from refining and retailing gasoline to being more than that, with a strong focus on EV charging stations. The company has taken several steps globally to electrify its gas stations. But with the recent one at Fullham Road in southwest London, one can get coffee from Costa, snacks, groceries among others from Little Waitrose and even a resting area for tired drivers. The only catch – the outlet doesn’t retail gasoline anymore! Yes, you read that right. The company has converted the entire station into an EV charging point and EV users are amused.
“Shell Recharge Fulham Road features 9 ultra-rapid charge points however, it is more than a charging hub. At Little Waitrose and Partners you can grab a snack, pick up dinner or stock up on essentials. Or you can grab your favourite cup of Costa Coffee while your EV charges”, writes Bernie Williamson, General Manager, Mobility, Shell UK on the company’s website. “The opening of Shell Recharge Fulham Road is a special moment for me personally and for Shell UK’s EV ambitions. I do hope you are able to come along and say hello”.
Sales of EVs have been picking pace globally and many large Auto makers have committed to atleast half of their sales coming from EVs by 2030. This includes mass manufacturers such as GM & Ford, all the way leading up to the luxury German carmakers such as BMW & Audi. From Rolls Royce to Ferrari, Ducati to Harley Davidson, everyone has an electric version, be it a prototype or a full fledged scaled version.
The biggest challenge remains the point of charging and the cost of doing so. At the Fulham facility in London, the overhead awnings are topped with solarpanels and the under ground tanks were dug out for the new facility. A Tesla Model 3 would take about 30 mins for a cull charge and could cost ~£35. Earlier, Shell opened a station at Tampines, a residential neighborhood near Singapore’s airport. The company has added two charging points to its 14 fuel pumps, and there’s also a McDonald’s to attract family crowds, a car wash to engage with car users over the weekends, and a space with comfy chairs and tables where drivers and families can hang out while their vehicles are plugged in.
Since January the station has been all-electric, with the old gas pumps replaced by 10 rapid chargers set under soaring wood awnings where people can plug in and top up. “It gives us all a glimpse into the future of mobility,” says Istvan Kapitany, who oversees Shell’s global retail operations. The Fulham station is one of several prototypes it’s planning as more cars shift to battery power, aiming to get feedback on what works while laying the groundwork to hit a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Shell says it has 9,000 branded charging points like those in Fulham and operates an additional 95,000 in places such as garages and office parks. It aims to hit a half-million by 2025—putting it well ahead of rivals such as Exxon, Total Energies, and BP.