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In its slow shift away from fossil fuels, oil giant Shell has just opened a new charging hub for EVs on London's Fulham Road. Previously a conventional gas station, the hub is EV-only, featuring nine ultra-rapid charge points powered by 100% certified renewable electricity. While their car charges, customers can use the station's wifi and pick up groceries from a Waitrose minimart or a coffee from Costa.
Reinforcing the brand's sustainability goals, the station's design features wooden canopy roofs that Shell claims use less energy to produce and transport than steel. The shelters are covered with solar panels that provide around 25% of the site's electricity needs.
The new station is part of Shell's plan to have 50,000 charging points up and running in the UK by 2025.
If emissions by customers using its products are included, Shell's global carbon footprint equals that of Russia. And despite a May 2021 court ruling that it needs to reduce global net carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, the company is still working on developing new oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Libya.
That said, converting gas stations to charging hubs is both a tangible step in the right direction and an oil giant's response to undeniable shifts in consumer demand. In 2021, more new battery electric vehicles were registered in the UK than over the previous five years combined, with plug-ins accounting for more than one in six new cars.
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