British-Dutch oil and gas company Shell intends to strengthen its presence on the market of electromobility in Central Europe by installing its first high-powered charging station in Hungary, in partnership with charging network operator IONITY.
The company also launched its first Shell Recharge point, Shell’s electric vehicle (EV) charging brand. Drivers can use both chargers at Shell’s service stations.
István Kapitány, Executive Vice President of Shell Retail called this step a start of a new chapter in the history of Shell Retail in Central and Eastern Europe.
“With the introduction of Shell V-Power premium fuels, we have been pushing innovation in the field of traditional fuels in the region and now we enter a new era on our journey to offer low-emission transport fuels to our customers,” said Mr Kapitány.
Shell opened its first rapid EV charging station, in cooperation with IONITY at the Balatonkereszttúr rest area of the M7 motorway. The rapid chargers can recharge new-generation e-vehicles in just 10-15 minutes. By the end of 2021, IONITY plans to build a total of 21 charging stations at Shell’s service stations across Central and Eastern Europe, covering the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
At the same time, Shell introduced its Shell Recharge brand in Hungary which became the fifth country in Europe and the ninth country in the world where drivers can use the company’s private label chargers. Shell Recharge points have been installed at two stations and offer recharging options for EV driver on their way from Budapest to Slovenia and Croatia on the M3 and M7 motorways.
Hungary has the most developed e-mobility market in Central and Eastern Europe, a region that falls under the EU average in terms of electric vehicle market penetration. According to the data of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Hungary accounts for the highest market share of electric vehicles (1.5 per cent) in the region, coming close to the EU’s average of 2 per cent. By comparison, the EV’s market share is just 0.2 per cent in Poland, 0.4 per cent in the Czech Republic and 0.3 per cent in Slovakia. These numbers are in strike contrast to these countries’ dependence on the auto industry.
Part of the structural problems responsible for these figures can be found in the low purchasing power. However unsatisfactory infrastructure, including the scarcity of charging points, can also discourage drivers to purchase electric vehicles. Today 76 per cent of all EV charging points in the EU are located in just four countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France and the United Kingdom).
Charging infrastructure is clearly an area where Central Eastern Europe has a lot of catching up to do. In the process steps like Shell’s decision to make its foray into electric vehicle charging contributes largely to the establishment of favourable conditions for electromobility in the region.