Shell has announced a major commitment to install 50,000 EV chargepoints in the UK by 2025, increasing its network more than tenfold.
Despite being busy building its own network, Shell’s commitment for 50,000 EV chargers across the UK actually doesn’t actually come from its EV Recharge brand. Instead, the firm is leaning on Ubitricity, a company that it acquired earlier this year, to fulfil its promise.
Currently there are around 3,600 Ubitricity chargers in the UK, which means that to achieve the 50,000 figure promised by Shell, there will need to be quite an increase. That shouldn’t be a problem, however, as Ubitricity’s parent company has a trick up its sleeve.
The oil giant wants to offer local authorities a financing deal in which it will cover 25% of the installation costs of on-street chargers, as long as they’re covered under the On-Street Residential Charging Scheme (ORCS). The reason for this stipulation is that the UK Government has agreed to pay for the remaining 75%, meaning local authorities will have to pay absolutely nothing.
“For local authorities wishing to install ubitricity charging stations, Shell is prepared to cover the remaining costs in accordance with commercial terms,” Shell noted in its statement.
This is an attractive deal for both Shell and local authorities, with the former being able to rapidly grow their EV charging network, while the latter gets to fulfil their commitment to EV drivers without having to rely on local taxpayers.
Rachel Maclean, the UK’s Transport Minister, has welcomed the offer by Shell. She commented, “As more and more people make the switch to electric, this is a great example of how private investment is being used alongside Government support to ensure that our EV infrastructure is fit for the future.”
Coincidentally, Shell’s offer of 50,000 new EV chargers also puts a big dent into the number of chargers that the UK Committee for Climate Change recently recommended that the UK needed. The committee said that in order to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles, there would need to be at least 150,000 chargers in operation across the country, with Shell’s commitment covering a third of that figure.
Of course, Shell and local authorities won’t be the only ones to benefit from this deal. This arrangement should also make it easier for those without off-street parking to make the switch to an electric vehicle without worrying about having access to a charger.