Shell BP Jump Into EV Charging With Both Feet
Both Shell and bp are getting involved in EV charging networks as they look to transition from oil and production to the green economy.
The sleepy subject of EV charging has suddenly become a hot topic. And why not? With 5 billion in government money on the table, everyone is rushing to gorge themselves at the public trough. This week, Shell and BP have both made major moves to get in on the feeding frenzy.
Shell Acquires Volta EV Charging Network
According to a press release dated January 18, Shell USA, a subsidiary of Shell plc, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Class A common stock of Volta Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately 169 million.
Volta’s assets include an existing public EV charging network of over 3,000 charge points at destination sites (shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) across 31 US states and territories, a development pipeline of more than 3,400 additional charge points, and capabilities to continue developing, operating, and monetizing EV charging infrastructure.
Beyond providing a charging service, Volta specializes in generating advertising revenues from screens embedded into the charge point. Volta’s advertising capability and early mover advantage have allowed the company to secure prime spots and portfolio level contracts with site hosts in high value, high traffic markets. Many Volta charging stations are free to use, thanks to the advertising revenue generated by their electronic message boards.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Under the terms of the merger agreement. At close, Shell will also repay Volta’s 3rd party debt, estimated at 14 million. As part of the transaction, an affiliate of Shell USA will provide subordinated secured term loans to Volta to bridge Volta through the closing of the transaction.
The closing of the merger is subject to the approval of Volta’s stockholders, the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and other applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, Volta will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell USA.
In 2019, Shell purchased Green Lots, an EV charging network that focused primarily on Europe. According to The Verge, that acquisition was carried out by another Shell subsidiary, Shell New Energies, which was subsequently renamed to Shell Recharge Solutions. After the Volta merger is complete, Shell will control over 57,000 EV charging points, most of them Level 2, in the US and Europe. Shell New Energies is also working on other alternative power projects like offshore wind farms in New Jersey.
Tritium Receives Large EV Charging Order From BP
Tritium is an Australian company founded in 2001. In a press release dated January 17, it says it designs and manufactures proprietary hardware and software to create advanced and reliable DC fast chargers for electric vehicles. “Tritium’s compact and robust chargers are designed to look great on Main Street and thrive in harsh conditions, through technology engineered to be easy to install, own, and use. Tritium is focused on continuous innovation in support of our customers around the world.”
Image courtesy of Tritium
Unlike Volta, Tritium focuses on Level 3 DC fast chargers. In fact, its stock symbol is DCFC. This latest press release announced that bp has placed the largest ever order from a single customer in Tritium’s history. bp will install the chargers for fleets and the general public in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia as bp expands its EV charging business known as bp pulse. Why British Petroleum, which used to be called BP, is now using lower case letters to identify itself is not clear. Perhaps it is still embarrassed by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at one of its offshore platforms.
“As bp’s EV charging infrastructure grows worldwide, Tritium is a natural choice for this order,” said Richard Bartlett, CEO bp pulse. “Tritium has a global presence and industry-leading DC fast charging technology – we’re looking forward to putting these chargers to work across three continents.” Tritium is supplying the chargers for bp pulse as part of a multi-year contract between the two companies for chargers and related services to support bp’s growth in electrification.
“Tritium envisions a world in which fast EV charging is everywhere,” said Tritium CEO Jane Hunter. “We’re grateful to the bp team for their order and look forward to working together to support bp pulse as they build a reliable, accessible fast charging network around the world. As a result of bp’s order, Tritium’s industry leading fast EV chargers will make it easier than ever before for commercial and everyday drivers to join the e-mobility transition,” she added.
The bp order includes a mix of Tritium 50 kW RTM and 150 kW PKM chargers. Tritium’s RTM is the company’s first modular charger and one of the most advanced DC fast chargers on the market. If is Ideal for network operators, dealerships, and the retail and hospitality industries and features a single person lift power module system for easier power upgrades, maintenance, and serviceability.
Tritium’s high power modular 150 kW PKM charger leverages a pool of shared power to deliver higher charger availability and power output through Tritium’s innovative microgrid design. The model is popular across fleets, network operators, heavy commercial units, retail, and hospitality venues.
Tritium anticipates manufacturing the chargers destined for bp’s European and American markets in the company’s Tennessee factory, which opened in August 2022 and is expected to reach a production capacity of 30,000 units per year at full maturity. The chargers for bp’s Australia markets are expected to be manufactured in Tritium’s Brisbane factory, which has a capacity of 5,000 units per year.
Government policies matter. The Biden administration has proposed a new program entitled the National Electric Vehicle Charging Network. Think of it as being similar to the Interstate highway program that began in the 1950s, which transformed how Americans traveled and how goods got delivered. That program has repaid its initial investment 100 times over by unlocking increases in interstate commerce that have powered America’s economic growth for the past 70 years. The 5 billion allocated to the National Electric Vehicle Charging Network will be used to provide a minimum of 4 fast chargers every 50 miles along America’s major transportation corridors — including Wyoming.
There are plenty of incentives baked into the program and they are having the intended effect. Not only will EV drivers benefit but local communities will also as companies like Tritium build new factories that will provide good paying jobs to hard working Americans. New EV charging and battery factories are under construction thanks to effective, targeted government policies put in place by President Biden and his team.
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Shell electric charging stations
BYD Europe B.V. and Shell EV Charging Solutions B.V. (Shell) announced they will provide at least 100,000 BYD battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (EV)customers in Europe with fast, convenient, and reliable EV charging from Shell Recharge. Customers will receive an exclusive Shell Recharge network platinum membership that offers discounted charging at Shell’s fast and ultra-fast DC charging locations.
Shell Recharge will offer BYD customers access to over 300,000 charge points across Europe through Shell’s growing network of charge points at Shell stations, mobility hubs, destination, and on-street locations and one of Europe’s largest roaming networks.
Signing Ceremony of 100,000 BYD Shell Recharge Platinum Charge Cards
Business customers that purchase BYD vehicles to electrify their fleets can also access EV charging through the Shell Card. Shell Fleet Solutions provides business customers with a wide range of products and services to manage their fleets efficiently and sustainably, including the hybrid Shell Card, a single payment solution that covers invoicing for traditional fuels, EV charging and alternative lower-carbon fuels.
BYD ATTO 3 at Shell Recharge Charging Station
István Kapitány, Global Executive Vice President of Shell Mobility, said: “We are pleased to be working with BYD in many key areas of e-mobility through a global collaboration that spans from China to India and across Europe. Through our European collaboration, we want to help BYD customers to drive as many electric miles as possible with our expansive Shell Recharge network.”
Michael Shu, General Manager and Managing Director, BYD Europe and International Cooperation Division, said: We are thrilled to be partnering with Shell to offer BYD customers exclusive membership to leading public charging solutions. Through this agreement, our customers will have access to an expansive network of chargers across Europe, offering highly favourable rates. BYD is committed to an electric future, and our partnership further reduces the running costs of an electric car.”
Left: István Kapitány, Global Executive Vice President of Shell Mobility; Right: Michael Shu, General Manager and Managing Director, BYD Europe and International Cooperation Division
In March 2022, Shell and BYD signed a strategic cooperation agreement to help accelerate the energy transition and improve charging experiences for BYD’s EV customers. In China, Shell and BYD formed an EV charging joint venture that currently operates more than 10,000 charge points in Shenzhen, with the goal of expanding the network to other cities.
Shell Recharge Network
The first EV charging network to be launched by an established oil company, Shell’s Recharge network comprises Rapid and ultra-Rapid chargers installed across the UK.
Operated on a pay-as-you-go basis, users access the charge points via the Shell Recharge app, RFID card, or contactless bank card.
Shell Recharge network costs
Membership cost: None
Free app download, RFID card, or contactless credit/debit card
Fast devices: 55p/kWh
Rapid devices: 79p/kWh
Ultra-Rapid devices: 85p/kWh
To discover how much it will cost to charge an EV from a Shell Recharge charge point, head to Zapmap’s Public Charging Calculator. This allows you to select any new or used plug-in vehicle, and tailor elements – such as electricity cost and charge required – for personalised results.
Shell Recharge network access
Access to the Shell Recharge network can be made via contactless credit/debit card, RFID card, or a smartphone app, which is free to download. When using the app or RFID card, payment is taken from a credit or debit card linked to the customer’s account after the charging session is complete.
Finding Shell Recharge points on Zapmap
All Shell Recharge points can be found on Zapmap by using the network filter. This can be used on the desktop and mobile apps, and displays only those points operated by Shell Recharge.
Charging types and speeds can be filtered too, showing only those points that are compatible with users’ cars.
About Shell Recharge
Many of Shell Recharge’s units are Rapid chargers, reflecting the requirements of drivers visiting a petrol station; a quick stop-off required rather than destination charging. Charge points offer three different connectors; CCS and CHAdeMO for 50kW DC charging, and Type 2 43kW AC.
The international oil company Royal Dutch Shell has made the decision to install EV charge points at a number of its forecourts, both in the UK and abroad. Operated by Allego on behalf of Shell, the Shell Recharge network is currently small in number, but has the advantage of both significant backing and a large number of locations available for expansion.
Shell is looking to remain relevant despite car refuelling methods due to change considerably in the next few decades. A public Rapid charging network will dovetail with roll-out of hydrogen refuelling stations – also available to find on Zapmap.
Images of Shell Recharge charge points – both under the headings ‘Shell Recharge network access’ ‘About Shell Recharge’ – and Shell Recharge logo (top) courtesy of Photographic Services, Shell International Limited
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Shell USA expands to EV charging stations
Shell USA is expanding from gas pumps to charging points.
The oil giant bought Volta Inc., owner of a network of about 3,000 electric vehicle charging points, including 28 on Long Island. Volta also has another 3,400 EV charging stations under development. The price of the acquisition was 169 million.
Volta’s charging stations are placed at what Shell calls “destination points” such as shopping centers, malls, grocery stores and pharmacies. On Long Island, for example, there are six Volta EV chargers at Broadway Commons mall in Hicksville and two at Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, according to Volta’s website. Most others are near Stop Shop supermarkets in Nassau.
ChatGPT fastest to 100 million users
The buzz around ChatGPT, the controversial artificial intelligence app that can convincingly mimic human writing, has been enormous. And it has ridden the buzz to apparently set a record as fastest-growing app after launch, according to a Reuters report. ChatGPT reached 100 million active users in January, just two months after it launched. By comparison, TikTok needed nine months after it launched to hit 100 million users.
PC sales ‘collapse’
PC sales continued to slump in the fourth quarter of 2022, with shipments of personal computers falling for the sixth straight quarter, according to separate reports from Gartner and IDC. Gartner, calling the 28% drop in fourth-quarter shipments a “collapse,” said it was the worst year-over-year performance since it started tracking the PC market in the mid-1990s.
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Tesla raises Model Y prices
Tesla has raised on its Model Y SUV, due to rising demand and changes in U.S. government rules that make more vehicles, including the Model Y, eligible for 7,500 tax credits. The electric vehicle maker bumped up the price of the Model Y Long Range version by about 2% to 54,990 and the Performance version by about 2.7% to 57,990. — AP