- Shell and IONITY — a joint venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen — will soon be supplying ultra-fast chargers to stations around Europe, Reuters reported.
- The initiative marks a step forward in making long distance travel for electric vehicles more accessible. The company projects that globally, electric vehicle use will expand from roughly 1% of the entire auto fleet to at least 10% percent by 2025, reducing oil demand by approximately 800,000 barrels per day.
- The new charging stations will be added to 80 sites around Europe, including Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Add to that the additional 20 stations planned for Germany, and Shell will have equipped roughly a quarter of its stations along highways in Europe within the next two years.
Europe is sprinting ahead in the race for electric vehicle dominance.
Industry expert Jon Slangerup of American Global Logistics noted that "Germany and the Netherlands are leading the way with ongoing investments in green transportation." BMW implements this with its plan to mass produce electric cars by 2020. Even hybrid engines could become available again for those unwilling to embrace technology just yet.
Therefore, Shell's move to offer fast charging outlets at 100 stations across Europe is an exercise in early adoption. Preparing for what is clearly inevitable with industry-leading technology will boost the company's visibility, earn driver loyalty, and require late bloomers to play catch-up in time to coincide with the wave of adoption soon to overtake the continent. Further, with the IONITY partnership, potential proprietary technology may be put in place that further delays other operators. With this action, Shell is gaining a big lead on future competition.