Three Firms That Have Surprised Us With Their Plunge Into EV Charging

Highlights :

  • Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies are three of the largest firms plunging into EV charging
  • Shell aims to operate over 2,500,000 charge points by 2030, while BP aims for 100,000 chargers by 2030
  • TotalEnergies aims to operate 150,000 EV charge points in Europe by 2025

The EV charging business–fueling a car with electric power rather than petroleum-based gas or diesel – has always been a loss for oil companies who are being dragged into the electric future. It may not be that way anymore. With an increase of EVs on roads, many old industrial mammoths, especially major oil firms, are shifting their business, or at least parallelly adopting, to this new stream of EV charging stations.

Some of the most significant firms have plunged into the EV charging market in recent times. We look at three big names that have recently joined this stream of EV charging station networks.

Shell

Shell plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, England. The firm is one of the oil and gas “supermajors” with 46,000 service stations and operations in over 70 countries worldwide. It has also consistently been one of the largest companies in the world owing to revenue and profit.

Hitherto active in every area of the oil and gas industry, Shell is now opening itself up to the EV charging business as it is one of the two major firms (BP being the other one) to keep an eye on which are plunging into EV charging sector. This will also open ways for the firm responsible for 60 mtCO2 equivalent GHG emissions, in 2021, to steadily drive toward its goal of becoming a net zero emissions business by 2050.

Currently, Shell seems to be on a charging station spree, installing a new charge point on average every 20 minutes. Akin to the success of its oil and gas business, Shell is eyeing to become one of the largest electric charging solutions providers globally.

The UK-based firm has set a target to operate over 500,000 charge points by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030. It is not all for the future though. The company currently operates around 90,000 charge points for electric cars worldwide. Due to its roaming networks, the firm offers over 300,000 additional charge points.

Stepping into EV charging

In 2021, Shell announced an ambition to install 50,000 on-street EV charge posts in the UK by the end of 2025, through Ubitricity, a subsidiary of the Shell group. In the UK, Ubitricity already operates over 5,500 charging points. In December last year, Shell opened its first EV charging hub where petrol and diesel pumps at an existing fuel station were completely replaced with ultra-rapid charge points.

Endorsing a network to serve consumers out of stations, Shell is busy cementing deals with fast-food and coffee chains for its stations in various markets. Shell partnered with Waitrose aiming to install up to 800 EV charging points around 100 Waitrose shops across the UK by 2025. This marks its first move into “destination charging”, whereby customers charge their vehicle while it is parked at a location they are primarily visiting for another activity such as shopping. Shell also acquired Cable Energía, which operates in Spain and Portugal, in July 2022.

Recently, the multinational oil corporation unveiled its first EV chargers for India’s two- and four-wheeled vehicle markets as the firm plans to install more than 10,000 charging stations across India by 2030.

The firm announced that its electric vehicle charging solutions portfolio companies will be unified under one brand – Shell Recharge Solutions.

BP

BP plc (formerly The British Petroleum Company plc and BP Amoco plc) is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, England. Like Shell, it is also one of the oil and gas “supermajors”. The oil giant’s public pledges, especially its goal to go carbon neutral business by 2050, emphasise that the company is shifting towards climate-friendly, low-carbon and transition strategies. It was one of the first supermajors to lay out its intentions to explore energy sources other than fossil fuels.

BP is now one of the largest firms expanding in the EV charging business at a rapid pace. As per some reports, its UK-based BP Pulse network of fast battery charging stations, is nearing the levels of profitability they see from filling up with petrol. While the timeline for that is still blurry, a company report shows that its electricity sales for EV charging grew 45% from Q2 to Q3 of 2021, alone. The firm claims the use of its BP pulse electric vehicle chargers is “on the cusp” of being more profitable for the company than filling up an internal combustion-powered car with gas.

BP Pulse

BP Pulse is an essential element of BP’s strategy to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner. It is expanding its global network of high-speed charging for cars, light commercial vehicles, and trucks, with a global target of more than 100,000 chargers by 2030, with about 90% of those rapid or ultra-fast chargers. The company is also partnering with fleet operators to accelerate the electric transformation of their fleets.

Stepping into EV charging

Recently, Hertz and BP entered into a partnership agreement for the development of a national network of EV charging stations powered by BP Pulse for Hertz and its customers. Aral Pulse, the German arm of BP Pulse, operates one of the largest numbers of sites in Germany with 150-kilowatt ultra-fast charging. In total, it manages 145 sites and a total of 858 points. The German subsidiary further aims for a network of 5000 charging points available by 2025.

BP Pulse will also provide power to one of China’s largest EV charging hubs – a 480-charging point site in the heart of the city of Shenzhen. The hub offers a total charging capacity of 30,000kW, equivalent to 30 bp-xiaoju sites with 20 charging points per site. The firm has also planned some 4,000 charging points in partnership with Volkswagen within 24 months in Germany and the UK. Last year, BP Pulse also acquired EV fleet charging provider AMPLY Power.

In India, BP ventures made its first direct investment in 2021. It invested $13 million in integrated EV ride-hailing and charging company BluSmart. BluSmart will use the capital to expand its fleet of electric vehicles and charging stations from its home city of Delhi to five additional Indian cities.

TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies (TTE) is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables, and electricity. The company has its head office in the Tour Total in La Défense district in Courbevoie, west of Paris. It is now committed to more affordable, cleaner, more reliable and accessible energy. TTE has a presence across over 130 countries.

TotalEnergies has set an ambition of achieving net zero by 2050 – not only for its operations worldwide (Scope 1 and 2) but also for the energy products used by its customers (Scope 3). With its plans to install more than 150,000 electric vehicle charge points in Europe by 2025, the TTE has made it in the list of firms diving into EV charging business.

Stepping into EV charging

TotalEnergies focuses on growing its charging networks in global cities in France, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, China and Singapore. TTE already has electric charging point networks in operation or under construction in several cities. The portfolio includes likes of Antwerp (3,000 charge points), Brussels (500), Ghent (800), Flemish (4400) Greater Amsterdam (22,000), London (1,700), Paris (2,300), Singapore (1,500) and Wuhan (11,000).

Expanding its existing portfolio TotalEnergies will install up to 4,400 public charge points over the next two years in West Flanders and Flemish Brabant, Belgium, over the next two years. The new contract further expanded TotalEnergies’ EV charging network in Belgium. TTE has already won public contracts to install and operate more than 3,500 EV charging stations in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium.

In France, TotalEnergies plans to have 200 service stations equipped with high-power chargers on major highways, in addition to 100 additional stations in urban areas, particularly in the form of charging hubs by 2023. This will be an addition to the company’s already existing over 11,500 charge points across France.

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.

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