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Two Fuel Brands Plug Into EV Charging

New charging stations set up fuel retailers for an electrified future

LONDON -- Two familiar gasoline and convenience-store brands are leaping into electric-vehicle (EV) charging in Europe.

In October, Royal Dutch Shell debuted the Shell Recharge EV charging service at 10 of its locations in the United Kingdom. The charging stations, located at Shell sites in Greater London, Reading and Derby, were installed and are operated in partnership with electric-car-service developer Allego, which is also working with Shell on a similar venture in the Netherlands.

Using DC fast chargers, the service can provide about an 80% charge in 30 minutes. It has connections for most EV models. London-based Shell also plans to provide charging adapters for Tesla EVs.

Shell Recharge operates under a pay-as-you-go model, as opposed to a subscription. To pay, users download an app operated by Allego, register and enter their credit- or debit-card information. Shell is offering special introductory pricing for users of the Shell Recharge service. Until June 30, 2018, EV drivers would pay half price—25 pence per kilowatt hour, or about 33 cents.

Shell is also offering a free size upgrade of its Costa Express coffee for each Recharge transaction through the end of 2017. Users show their charging receipt to the c-store associate to get the deal.

The launch of Shell Recharge follows news of the major oil’s purchase of NewMotion, said to have one of the largest charging-station networks in Europe, Reuters reported. Amsterdam-based NewMotion manages more than 30,000 charging points in Western Europe and provides access to thousands of additional locations. NewMotion will be operating the stations alongside Shell’s Recharge program.

“They’re complementary offers,” said Matthew Tipper, vice president of new fuels for Shell. “One is fast charging on the go on the forecourt and the other is a slightly slower rate of charge at the workplace or at home. At this stage, there are no plans to integrate the two.”

Beyond the United Kingdom and Netherlands, Shell is also installing charging stations in Norway and the Philippines. It expects 25% of the global vehicle fleet to be EVs by 2040.

Meanwhile, Alimentation Couche-Tard locations in Europe will host charging stations beginning this year in partnership with Ionity, a new joint venture created by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche. Ionity plans to develop a network of about 400 fast-charging stations across Europe by 2020. In 2017, Ionity plans to install 20 charging stations at an unspecified number of Couche-Tard Circle K sites in Norway, along with Tank & Rast sites in Germany and OMV fueling locations in Austria.

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