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Shell partners with Osprey Charging for ‘forecourts of the future’

Shell is to roll out EV charging points at its UK franchised forecourt sites under a new tie-up with Osprey Charging.

The partnership on EV charging will help Shell forecourt dealer owners avoid being left behind in the switch to electric and complement Shell’s work at its company-owned sites

The partnership will develop the ‘petrol forecourts of the future’ across England, Scotland and Wales, helping dealer owners avoid being left behind in the switch to electric and complementing Shell’s work at its company-owned sites.

Already, Osprey has deployed its first Shell Recharge charge point at a Shell dealer site – an 175kW charger in Hovefield service station – and, as Shell’s preferred partner, will help usher in a new electric future for Shell petrol forecourts up and down the country. There are over 1,000 Shell forecourts in the UK, many of which are franchised.

Repurposing petrol forecourts to charge EVs makes sense on many levels; they’re often located on busy transport routes, including motorway service stations, urban areas and retail parks as well as serving harder to reach areas such as rural A-roads. This means they are uniquely placed to offer an ideal solution for meeting EV charging demand.

And 88% of petrol forecourts have a shop of some form, giving drivers the chance to make the most of on-the-go convenance retail while their car is being charged.

It will also help expand the Shell Recharge service. Launched in 2017, it’s a subscription-free, on-forecourt electric vehicle charging service that now has over 100 EV charge points – running from 50kW to 175kW – available at Shell forecourts across the UK. Shell aims to increase this to 200 charge points on forecourts by the end of 2021, and to grow its EV charging network to over 5,000 EV charge points on forecourts and in new locations by 2025.

As Shell’s preferred supplier, Osprey will fund, install and operate high-powered 175kW Tritium chargers under a lease arrangement, with all units operated under the Shell Recharge brand and profits shared with owners, creating a new risk-free revenue stream.

Osprey’s rapid chargers are compatible with every EV on the market today, providing 80 miles of charge in less than half an hour and drivers can pay for charging with a simple tap of a contactless card or smartphone. They’re also rated highly for reliability; in 2020, Osprey ranked in the top three best EV charging networks in Zap Map’s annual consumer survey, recognised for its reliability and ease of use.

Osprey currently operates a public charging network in the UK of over 200 EV charge points, with charging capacities ranging between 50kW and 175 kW. The business secured £50m of funding in 2019 to deploy over 2,000 rapid chargers by 2024 and the Shell programme will help it reach more customers.

And all charge points – both those on Shell company-owned sites and the Osprey Charging Network – are supplied by 100% certified renewable electricity.

Bernie Williamson, Shell UK general manager, said: “For electric vehicle use to grow more rapidly, drivers need to feel confident that there are convenient and reliable means of recharging their vehicles when they are travelling. With Osprey supporting the development of our EV charging offer at dealer-owned sites, we will be able to continue serving busy customers at convenient locations as we aim to be the leading brand for on-the-go rapid charging.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.