According to a statement by one of its senior executives, Shell Oil Company is open to, and in fact looking for, partnerships with automakers to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging stations beyond the footprint of its gas stations.
Shell’s rivalry with BP in gaining ground in the EV charing market has led the company to recently purchase charge provider Greenlots, which supplies Volvo and Volkswagen in the U.S., along with residential developments and some utilities.
“We recognize that the customers are not just necessarily going to go to recharge just at retail sites, they’re going to want to charge at work and home, so we’re moving into this space,” Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president for Shell’s New Energies operation, told Reuters.
Nearly all major auto manufacturers around the world are investing heavily in EV development. The International Energy Agency estimates that the number of electric cars on the road will increase to 125 million by 2030. Consequently, oil companies are growing increasingly aware of the potential threat to parts of their downstream business from the electrification of consumer-owned vehicles.
Shell is also talking to vehicle makers as potential customers or partners on EV charging infrastructure, Gainsborough said. “We talk to all of the auto manufacturers ... They’re all potential customers and partners for us ... This is a space where we will have lots of partnerships, they won’t always be exclusive.”