Shell has launched its first high-powered 350kW electric vehicle chargers in France, despite no vehicle currently on the market being able to take full advantage of the charging speed.
The oil and gas giant worked to install eight chargers in a 400-strong network across Europe planned by charging network operator IONITY, a joint venture between BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche.
The latest units follow the installation of the first four Shell-IONITY chargers in August at Hohenems in Austria. David Bunch, Shell’s vice president retail in Europe, said: “Electric vehicle drivers should be able to travel long distances confidently and with ease. Creating a convenient network of reliable, powerful chargers is vital for getting many more electric vehicles on the road. We are one of IONITY’s major partners because we share that vision.”
However, the chargers have been deployed to serve ‘next-generation’ electric vehicles, with those currently on the road only able to utilise the high-powered units at lower speeds. They form part of Shell’s continued efforts to adopt cleaner technologies in addition to its legacy business as and oil and gas major.
The installations of an average of six IONITY-Shell branded charge posts at 80 Shell stations across Europe is to follow the acquisition of Dutch electric vehicle charging provider NewMotion in October 2017, and the growing number of Shell Recharge points at forecourts in the UK, as well as the Netherlands and China.
Its efforts follow similar activity by its competitors to take hold of the EV charging market, such as BP which spent £130 million on the acquisition of the UK’s largest charging network company Chargemaster back in June.
In September, Total Gas & Power acquired French firm G2mobility and last week announced a partnership with ChargePoint to offer its business customers EV charging solutions. Speaking at the EV Infrastructure Summit in July, hosted by Current± published Solar Media, a panel of investors suggested that such activity would result in consolidation of the EV charging market, leaving just “four or five big players” dominating networks.