Shell and carmakers aim to go the distance with highway charging

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has partnered with top carmakers to deploy ultra-fast chargers on Europe’s highways, stealing a march on rivals in the race to remove one of the biggest obstacles facing the electric car sector.

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Shell’s agreement with IONITY – a joint venture between BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE), Ford (F.N) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) – will initially bring high-powered docks to 80 highway sites in 2019, it said in a statement.

Power giants including France’s Engie (ENGIE.PA) and Germany’s E.ON (EONGn.DE), as well as niche players such as U.S. start-up ChargePoint, are all building vehicle-charging networks in Europe, but Shell says the IONITY technology is key to addressing the problem of journey distances.

While electric vehicles still account for only a small fraction of the global car market, the pace of growth and a sustained period of low crude prices is prompting oil companies to reassess century-old business models as the world move towards cleaner modes of transportation.

Under Shell’s most aggressive projections the company expects the global electric vehicle fleet to grow from about 1 percent of the entire auto fleet today to 10 percent by 2025, displacing oil demand equating to about 800,000 barrels per day.

 

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