Shell Fast-Chargers Coming to UK

Electric Car Costs / Prices Shell Recharge

Published on October 19th, 2017 | by Andy Miles


Royal Dutch Shell Announcement of Definite Plans for EV Chargers in UK

Shell Recharge

Shell Recharge fast charger

The Announcement

Shell have been making noises about installing EV fast chargers at their service stations in the UK for some time now. I wondered when those noises were going to translate into actual chargers. I often glance at Shell service stations when driving by, just to see if there is anything there yet. They have finally announced that chargers are to be installed at 10 service areas.  These are — nine around the London area and one in Derby, in the UK’s Midlands area.

Excerpts from their press release are as follows —

Today (18 October, 2017) Shell opened its first electric vehicle (EV) charging points at three UK forecourts (in London, Surrey and Derby). The service, called Shell Recharge, can charge most electric vehicles in around 30 minutes.

The launch follows Shell’s recent agreement to buy NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging providers. Both initiatives will help Shell to test and develop the full raft of electric vehicle charging solutions for customers at home, at work and on the go.

Shell UK Country Chair Sinead Lynch said: “We’re delighted to offer rapid electric charging on the forecourt for the first time. Shell Recharge will provide EV drivers in these areas with a convenient and subscription-free charging service. Our aim is to have recharging points at ten forecourts by the end of the year.

“More broadly, today’s opening is part of our wider commitment to help deliver a low-carbon UK, by offering drivers a range of fuels as new technologies evolve to co-exist with traditional transport fuels.”

About Shell Recharge

Shell Recharge is the name of Shell’s new rapid Electric Vehicle charging service. Our Rapid 50kW DC chargers are compatible with most Electric Vehicles, and will charge most cars from zero-80% in approximately 30 minutes.

Customers pay for Shell Recharge simply and quickly by using the Smoov app, a subscription-free mobile payment system. There are no subscription or connection fees; customers only pay for the power used to recharge their car. Until the 30th of June 2018, Shell is offering an introductory offer – just 25p per kWh vs. the normal price of 49p per kWh.

While waiting for their vehicle to charge, customers can take advantage of Shell’s retail offering including Costa Coffee and Shell’s own Deli2Go range. Shell stations also offer free Wifi, allowing customers to catch up on emails and news while they wait for their car to charge.

By the end of 2017, Shell Recharge will be operational at Shell Addlestone (Surrey), Shell Blendon (Kent), Shell Burgh Heath (Surrey), Shell Derby, Shell Fairfield (Reading), Shell Holloway (London), Shell Ickenham (London), Shell Stirling Corner (Hertfordshire), Shell West Drayton (London) and Shell Whyteleafe (Surrey). Shell Recharge will also soon launch in the Netherlands.

The location of the first ten sites have been chosen because of their proximity to main driving routes, and where there is an opportunity to reach more EV drivers.

Price Comparison

So, how does £0.49 per kWh compare with other suppliers?  20 kWh, enough to charge up a Nissan Leaf, would cost £9.80p ($12.94). For comparison, Ecotricity charge £0.17 per kWh ($0.23), plus a £3 ($3.96) connection charge for people who are not Ecotricity domestic customers. So, 20 kWh on an Ecotricity charger would cost £3 (connection charge) and £3.40, at a total of £6.40 ($8.49).  This is £3.40 ($4.25) cheaper, making the Shell offering somewhat uncompetitive.

Ecotricity also invests 65% of their income into renewable energy sources. This is a plus point for them.  Becoming one of their domestic electricity customers is a good way of putting money into renewable energy, via your bills. For someone who is a domestic customer of Ecotricity, and, therefore, not being required to pay the £3 connection charge, the cost of 20 kWh would only be £3.40 ($4.25).  This is £6.40 ($8.49) cheaper than the shell offering. For smaller amounts of charging, such as 10 kWh, which would cost £4.90 ($6.47) with Shell and £4.70 ($6.20) with Ecotricity, they are much closer.

Pricing is not as important as actually having chargers available.  I am sure people will be grateful, if they’re running short of battery power, for any available charger, even if a little more expensive. Eventually, prices might come down as there are more chargers rolled out across the country, and more competition.

The Downside

New EV chargers are always welcome. My only reservation is, this means yet an additional layer of payment methods, and means of access. Just about everything else that is for sale I can buy with a credit card, debit card, cash, or PayPal. It seems a pity that I can’t use the same systems to pay for my EV charging. Even on the London Underground one no longer needs a ticket and can simply use a credit card as if it was a ticket. I think this is one area where the government should have become involved quite a while ago, to try and standardise access to chargers. Left to itself, with so many diverse systems and suppliers, the market can only become more and more fragmented, and therefore, complicated and inconvenient for EV drivers.


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About the Author

As a child at school, I had the unrealistic expectation that I would learn about, and understand, absolutely everything, during the course of growing up. Now, at the other end of life, I am fully aware of how much I have not learnt, and do not understand, and yet, I remain interested in everything. My education, starting with an arts degree, and going on to postgraduate studies, in everything from computer science, to hypnotism, reflected my broad interests. For work, I ended up working as a senior officer in local government, and built my career on being a legal eagle for the obscure branch of law, governing the work of my department. I am retired now, and am currently living in North Leicestershire in the United Kingdom, with plenty of time for doing whatever I like. I have always had a keen interest in everything alternative, which includes renewable energy and energy efficiency and, of course, electric vehicles. So, naturally, I have taken ownership of an EV, now that they are affordable and practical forms of transport. Writing is also one of my great pleasures, with various articles and a novel to my name, so writing about EVs is a natural evolution for me.

  • Martin Lacey

    Hi Andy,

    I agree that Shell are rather expensive. However it’s worth noting that most Ecotricity chargers are 40 kW max (most run at 34-36kW peak). The shell chargers are true 50 kW systems meaning a high 40’s kW peak, resulting in a saving of about 10 minutes from 0-80%.

    I recently used a 50kW charger at St James Car Park in Kings Lynn – way faster than Ecotricity, I charged from 19% to 94% in 34 minutes!

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