Energy firm Royal Dutch Shell is teaming up with a raft of car giants including BMW, Daimler and Ford, to rapidly improve Europe's charging infrastructure ahead of an expected surge in electric cars.
Shell has signed an agreement with high-powered charging network operator Ionity, a joint venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, to create a network of 350-kilowatt chargers next to major highways in Europe.
It plans to offer charge points across 10 European countries starting with 80 of its biggest highway stations, allowing drivers to travel long distances without range anxiety setting in.
|The 10 places where Shell is rolling out charge points|
The high-powered chargers will take five to eight minutes on average to charge next generation electric vehicles.
“Customers want to go on long journeys in their electric vehicles and feel confident that there are reliable, comfortable and convenient places to charge them quickly,” István Kapitány, Shell’s global executive vice president of retail, said.
Demand for electric vehicle charging on Europe’s major highways is set to grow rapidly. We are pre-empting drivers’ need to charge quickly by becoming one of Ionity's major partners, giving customers access to the fastest charge points across 10 European countries.
On average, six Ionity-Shell charge posts will be available at each Shell station, making up around 500 in total. An estimated 400 high-powered charging stations will comprise Ionity's network, which the firms said will allow long-distance travel in Europe across multiple countries.
The deal comes after Shell announced it was buying charging provider NewMotion, a Dutch firm that operates more than 30,000 private electric charge points for homes and businesses in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK.
In September, it was reported that Shell was in the midst of planning the UK's first no-petrol station and earlier this year opened a hydrogen cell refuelling station at Cobham on the M25.