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Is this the future of your local fuel pump? Shell UK's newly opened 'EV hub' hints at what to expect from reimagined petrol stations

Shell opens its first EV hub pilot location in the UK, as an example of what could replace fuel pumps in the future.

Fuel and energy giant Shell’s UK division has opened its first EV hub, a site where existing petrol and diesel pumps have been replaced with ‘ultra-rapid’ charge points in Fulham, London.

The site, which Shell describes as a "global pilot", consists of nine 175kW charge points, a coffee shop and an "extensive" convenience store to give its customers something to do while they wait.

Like pilot charging locations that have come before it, the Fulham EV hub boosts its sustainability by also featuring a canopy of solar panels above the site, double glazing for all the store windows to reduce energy consumption, and construction based on timber rather than steel.

Shell claims the site can run off 100 per cent renewable energy, with energy not fully sourced from the solar panels covered by a ‘renewable energy guarantee’, meaning it is purchased from a supplier which uses fully renewable energy sources.

Shell claims its 175kW chargers will allow charging at the site ‘three times faster’ than the more widely used 50kW DC fast charger, however this will depend on the capability of the car itself, with only higher-end EVs being able to accept charge beyond 100kW on DC.

Shell’s UK division is aiming to have 5000 EV charge locations in the country by 2025, most of which are to exist in on-street ‘charge posts’ at AC speeds via its Ubitricity subsidiary. The company has already built 3600 of these locations and notes that more than 60 per cent of households in England rely on on-street parking.

While the station is capable of charging at up to 175kW, many EVs today charge at a maximum rate between 50 - 100kW. While the station is capable of charging at up to 175kW, many EVs today charge at a maximum rate between 50 - 100kW.

In Australia, Shell has indicated that it is watching the EV charging space and will make a move in our market when it considers the time right. Recently, the resource giant purchased two energy companies in Australia, ERM Power and Powershop Australia, as part of its $2 billion-a-year push into the “new energy” market, to achieve its stated goal of becoming a “net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.”

It also markets a line of home storage batteries under its wholly owned German battery construction subsidiary, Sonnen, including outdoor units “developed specifically for Australia and New Zealand”.

Like Australia's Tritium charge pylons, Shell's station hardware offers both Type 2 CCS and CHAdeMO DC connections. Like Australia's Tritium charge pylons, Shell's station hardware offers both Type 2 CCS and CHAdeMO DC connections.

It will face significant competition in the charging space, at least in the short term, from leading EV charge provider ChargeFox as well as from Tesla, which has flagged the possibility of opening its significant charging network up to non-Tesla users, as well as from upcoming charging brands like Jolt and Evie.