Powering more of the cars we drive with electricity will be essential to address growing CO2 emissions and air pollution in cities. As more electric car models become available, they will also become a more affordable choice for people and businesses.

There are around 1 billion cars on the world’s roads. Of these, around 2 to 3 million are pure battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA anticipates there may be 300-400 million EVs on the road out of approximately 2 billion vehicles by 2040.

How will we charge the cars of the future?

Electric vehicles are cars and other forms of mobility that use an electric motor as their main source of propulsion, rather than a conventional engine. They also have their energy stored in batteries.

There are three main types of electric vehicles: battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug in hybrid electric vehicles.

Battery electric vehicles are all-electric cars that rely on their batteries as the only source of energy. Hybrid electric vehicles and plug in hybrid electric vehicles combine an electric drive with a conventional fuel engine. 

Unlike traditional cars, which usually only refuel at petrol stations, electric cars have the potential to be recharged at home, at work or on the go. They can also be charged in shared locations such as forecourts, car parks or supermarkets.

Speed, availability and reliability of charging infrastructure are currently the biggest potential deterrents to buying an electric car.

Shell believes this could change with better access to a choice of recharging options that are suited to the needs of customers and their lifestyles. This could include smart regular chargers, ideal for those charging overnight at their homes or during working hours. It could also include high-powered faster chargers, designed for when drivers are between destinations and in need of a quick top up.

One such example is on-street charging. In 2021, Shell announced an ambition to install Shell 50,000 on-street EV charge posts in the UK by the end of 2025, through ubitricity, part of the Shell group. The move was part of a wider effort to bring more EV charging availability to those without private parking for home charging.

Electric vehicle charging ecosystem

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EV Charging Ecosystem
Detail 1


Low-carbon energy sources such as wind farms and photovoltaic (PV) systems turn energy from wind or light into the electricity needed to meet the needs of commercial, industrial and residential customers.

Detail 2

Business, Retail and Fleet Charging

Charging whilst parked at work or during leisure activities is a convenient way to recharge. From a business point of view, having a charge point at the workplace will become increasingly important as a facility for employees and visitors. Fleet companies with electric vehicles will also need a reliable charging service at their base.

Detail 3

Charging On-the-Go

On forecourts electric fast charging services are developed for drivers who need to recharge their vehicle during their journeys. High-powered fast or super-fast chargers (50kW to 350kW) can charge an electric vehicle in between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the battery.

Detail 4

Home charging

Charging at home is often the most convenient and cost effective way for private customers to recharge their cars, as it is where most cars are parked overnight. Regular charging (up to 22kW) units are wired to the central metering unit. They are usually on their own circuit for safety and to enable monitoring separate from other electric loads.

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Better and more efficient recharging

As one of the world’s largest energy suppliers, Shell is exploring how to serve the world’s increasing number of electric car drivers, both on our forecourts and beyond.

These initiatives are part of Shell’s wider drive to provide more and cleaner energy solutions around the world.

At home or work

Panoramic photo of modern house with outdoor and indoor lighting, at night

Charging electric cars at home is often the most convenient and cost-effective way to recharge, particularly as most private vehicles are usually parked overnight. Home-base overnight charging, in most cases, is the cheapest time to recharge.  Charging at work can be a convenient way for people to recharge their electric cars while they are parked during their working hours or for companies with electric fleets to provide employees an option for charging.

Shell’s NewMotion is one of Europe’s largest electric-vehicle charging providers. It operates more than 40,000 private electric charge points for homes and businesses in the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. Through NewMotion, Shell is developing more flexible solutions for electric vehicle drivers to charge at home or at work.

On the go

Shell Recharge Stock

A growing number of Shell forecourts in the UK, the Netherlands and China are offering  “Shell Recharge” fast charging service. This takes only around 30 minutes to fully charge. This service also provides electric car drivers a shorter option to just top up to get them to their destination.

In 2018, Shell began offering high-powered chargers in partnership with charging network operator IONITY. These will take less than 10 minutes to charge the latest next-generation electric vehicles, which will make them up to three times faster than any other charger currently available.

By installing around 500 of these high-powered fast chargers at 80 Shell stations next to major European highways, Shell is helping electric vehicle drivers to travel long distances confidently and with ease.

NewMotion offers customers a flexible way to access a wide charging network of public charge points. Using a single charge card, drivers can access a network of more than 80,000 public charge points across 28 European countries. These include Shell Recharge and IONITY charge points.

3D illustration of electric car

Charging for fleet companies

Modern fleet companies are changing. Some are gradually moving towards electric or hybrid vehicles, while others have made the switch entirely and they need reliable chargers at their base or employee homes as well as easy access to a wide range of charging options while on the go.

Shell helps fleet companies to transition to electric vehicles simply and cost effectively, to manage costs and to reduce emissions in the process.  

With the Shell Card, fleet customers have an integrated solution, with the ability to pay for charging, fuel and other mobility expenses – all with one card, one supplier and on one invoice.

Fleet solutions

Developing smarter charging technologies

As electric charging networks grow to provide electric vehicle drivers access to a wide and reliable infrastructure, electricity systems will need to be prepared to supply the additional power required.

Intelligent charging technologies can help to ensure the smooth integration of electric vehicles into the electricity system by, for example, adjusting charging times and speed of charge. This can be especially useful for managing variations in wind and solar power.

Innovative vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging systems allow electric vehicles to supply electricity to the local power network when supplies are tight.

NewMotion is working on the development of an innovative V2G charging system to enable electric vehicles to supply electricity to the local power network when supplies are tight. V2G power control effectively turns an electric vehicle into a back-up battery that can help grid operators balance electricity demand and supply.

Smart charging animation video

[Background Music: Sound of Shell]

>> VOICEOVER: With the flick of a switch, the street lights come on, your kettle boils or your oven heats up. We all take energy for granted.

But with a continued rise in the demand for energy, and the increase in electrification, including the use of electric vehicles, there needs to be a move from simply producing more energy to better managing how we use and store it.

Innovative technologies can help to manage how we use energy more efficiently and balance the demand on the grid.

For example, by looking at daily peaks and troughs in energy demand, future electric charging solutions are being developed to optimise use and provide stored energy back to the grid.

‘Smart’ charging and bi-directional vehicle to grid technology (also known as V2G) are two such technologies that can play a vital role in this balancing act.

NewMotion, together with Shell are already providing these technologies to individuals and businesses for their electric vehicle charging needs.

So how do these technologies work?

Smart charging is the intelligent way to charge an electric vehicle which also has benefits to the grid.

With our smart charging APP, customers can tell us how much charge they want and when they need their vehicle. Our technology will do the rest!

Our smart energy system will take these requirements into account, charging the vehicle when electricity demand is low or supply is high and at its cheapest – reducing the charging costs for customers and helping balance grid demand in the process!

Did you know on average, your car spends the majority of its time parked?

For electric vehicles this is a lot of potential energy ready and waiting to be used.

V2G technology allows a far more efficient use an electric car battery and helps balance the grid by storing energy during low demand periods and giving it back when demand peaks.

Working through bi-directional charging points, V2G technology allows batteries to be charged and discharged depending on demand and supply of energy whilst still maintaining the amount of charge you need to drive your car when you want to.

This can provide more stability to the grid and enables the storage of renewable energy.

For example, by charging vehicles when wind output is at its greatest and then discharging during times when grid demand is high, batteries can help store this renewable energy for when it is most needed - with no impact on the use of your car.

With new technologies like these, we can move from more energy to smart energy and support the ever-growing demand for this precious resource.

[Music: Sound of Shell Mnemonic]

Wind mills on the hill

Producing more energy

As the number of electric vehicles on the road grows, Shell is also working to provide more electricity from sources such as wind and solar power that will allow electric vehicles to run on low-carbon power sources.

This is part of our wider effort to make electricity a significant part of our business – one that could sit alongside oil, gas and chemicals in the future.

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