Some are calling it the “gas station of the future.” It still looks like a typical gas station, at least at a glance. But there are no gas pumps. To the best of our knowledge, this UK Shell station is the first that isn’t a gas station, but an EV supercharging station. Now fast chargers have replaced the old gas pumps. You knew it was coming, and now it is slowly becoming a reality.
What do these EV charging stations offer?
According to Evannex, the luxurious station, more on that later, can recharge an EV in less than half an hour for $39. It’s located outside of London in Fulham, England. The awnings located over each of the chargers are really solar panels, helping to conserve as well as increase stored electricity.
Shell knows that customers won’t want to just hang out and wait for their EVs to charge. Inside the old station, everything has been transformed. Comfortable lounge chairs, lots of food service, and beverage and coffee options await customers. You can get your car washed, or other advertised but unspecified activities also await. We’re wondering about those.
How many EV charging stations does Shell expect to have?
It’s a perfect scenario, with EV customers stranded to an extent. They’ll be more inclined to step up for the $5 coffee or $10 sandwich. What would you rather do, stare at your iPhone inside your car, or stretch out, grab a coffee, and relax in leather-covered reclining chairs?
Gas suppliers also know they’re looking at potentially hundreds of billions of dollars for not only themselves but also suppliers. And while this is the first to pop up, it is only the beginning. Shell says that it will continue to switch over its UK gas stations to become EV charging stations. But those plans are also ready for the U.S. Shell expects to have over 500,000 of them before the end of 2025.
It’s an ambitious goal, but one made easier because its locations and structures are already baked in. It has the flexibility to convert only a portion of each existing location or go the route of this UK station by offering a full EV-only charging service. And of course, Shell isn’t the only one seeing gold in those stations.
Is this the end of gas stations?
Tesla has explored offering an amusement park of sorts for certain larger charging locations. The concepts look more like a mini-Disneyland than having anything to do with charging cars. We can’t wait to see how they look, what they offer, and how they are embraced by traveling EV trekkers.
There will be gas stations for many years past 2030. But the onslaught of EVs is escalating. There is already a need for charging beyond home systems and the random charging stations already available even in the hinterlands.