Shell converts petrol station into EV charging hub as number of UK petrol forecourts drops

Electric vehicle infrastructure is vital for transition says expert

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Following a 110 percent rise in UK drivers buying electric vehicles (EVs) between 2020 and 2021, oil giant Shell has converted one of its former petrol stations into the country’s first electric vehicle charging ‘hub’.

The site at Fulham Road in South West London features nine rapid chargers delivering up to 175kW of charge, a mini Waitrose, Costa Coffee and free WiFi.

Formerly a conventional fuel station, the hub has been in development since 2019.

The ultra-rapid charge points can deliver power up to three times faster than rapid 50kW chargers, which typically charge from zero to 80 percent in 30 minutes.

But the move comes despite petrol stations closing across the country in recent years.

There are now just over 8,000 petrol and diesel stations in the UK, a reduction of 5,000 since 2020.

That’s a drop of around 35 percent and has resulted in drivers finding it harder to fill up in both rural areas and city centres.

BP, ESSO and Shell each operate more than a thousand sites each, while Tesco has 509.

However despite fewer stations, hypermarket retailers sell the majority of fuel each year.

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Shell says the hub features a sustainable design with solar panels built into the roof that will generate renewable electricity for the site, and the chargers will all run on 100 percent certified renewable electricity as well.

The hub’s canopy is constructed from sheets of timber glued together which according to Shell, uses less energy to produce and transport than steel.

Shirley Rodrigues, the Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy said: “It is great news that Shell is introducing electric vehicle charging services on its forecourts as thousands more Londoners switch to cleaner cars.

“With sales of diesel cars declining, it’s vital to have charging points for electric vehicles in service stations, car parks and on our streets.”

Meanwhile, a new poll has revealed that the vast majority of drivers who bought an electric car would never go back to owning a petrol or diesel model. 

The research from Zap-Map showed 91 percent of owners are ‘extremely happy’ with their zero-emission vehicles with just one percent hoping to return to fossil fuels.

The Government has stated that it intends to ban the sale of all petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

And the research, one of the largest surveys of electric car owners so far, showed that once drivers take the leap to EVs they don’t wish to turn back.

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