Shell and Volkswagen push ahead the expansion of charging infrastructure: Opening of the first innovative Flexpole charging station

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Shell Germany and the Volkswagen Group are jointly driving forward the expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric mobility: On May 4, 2023, the first innovative 150 kW Elli Flexpole charging station was put in operation at a Shell service station in Göttingen1. The charging station of the Volkswagen brand Elli has a unique battery storage system that enables connection to a low-voltage grid. Thanks to this new technology, the charging stations can be installed easily and flexibly, and the grid expansion can be accelerated. Following a successful test operation, Shell and Volkswagen also plan to install the Flexpole charging station at other locations in Germany and Europe.

“With VW’s Elli Flexpole charging stations, we can make an important contribution to the necessary expansion of the charging infrastructure. And in locations where it would be otherwise difficult for fast charging. Shell is already one of the largest providers of charging infrastructure at home, at work, at on-street lamp posts and at our service stations. We want to do our part to enable customers to switch to an electric vehicles and thus reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector,” says Tobias Bahnsen, Head of Shell E-Mobility responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Simon Löffler, Chief Commerical Officer at Elli, adds: “The rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure is a prerequisite for the success of e-mobility. We contribute to this journey with our innovations such as the Elli Flexpole. It can be set up almost anywhere without major construction work, making it ideal for quickly setting up fast-charging options. We are pleased to have found a strong partner in Shell who, like us, wants to expand the charging network in Germany and across Europe.”

Accelerated network expansion thanks to innovative Elli Flexpole technology

The German government has set itself the goal of having at least one million charging points available to drivers of electric cars by 2030. According to the Federal Network Agency2, the number of charging points rose significantly last year by around 21,000 to a total of over 80,000. Of these, around 67,000 are standard charging points and around 13,000 are fast charging points. A faster expansion of the charging infrastructure is delayed due the need of a special transformers with currently long delivery times. In addition, around 900 German distribution system operators have different requirements for the transformers.

With the Elli Flexpole solution, one of the biggest hurdles of expansion could be overcome. The Flexpole chargers can be connected directly to the low-voltage grid thanks to the integrated battery system, without the need for a special transformer or costly construction work. As a result, the installation time is significantly reduced. At the same time, Flexpole charging stations enable a charging speed of up to 150 kW. Depending on the vehicle, a range of up to 160 kilometres can be charged within 10 minutes.

Shell expands charging network throughout Germany

Shell aims to become a company with net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. One important strategy component for achieving this ambition is the development of diverse infrastructure for electric vehicles. Cornerstones have been set already few years ago. In 2017, the company bought NewMotion, then Europe’s largest charging provider, which has since been later renamed to Shell Recharge Solutions. In 2019, Shell started building Shell Recharge fast charging stations (HPC) at Shell service stations. In 2021, Shell bought the Berlin-based startup ubitricity, which enables charging at lampposts on the street. Recently, Shell acquired SBRS GmbH, a leading provider of charging infrastructure solutions for commercial electric vehicles. In 2022, Shell opened the first Shell Recharge fast charging stations at the parking lots at REWE and PENNY supermarkets. In addition, Shell has a close cooperation with IONITY, the joint venture of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Hyundai, Porsche and Volkswagen, to set up fast-charging stations along motorways in European countries.

Worldwide, Shell aims to install over 500,000 charging points by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030.

Group Technology: The Volkswagen Group’s technology powerhouse

Volkswagen Group Technology bundles the Group-wide activities in the areas of battery, charging and e-components and supports the Group brands as an in-house technology supplier along with its subsidiaries PowerCo (battery) and Elli (charging & energy). With the network of the charging and mobility brand Elli, the Group provides access to Europe’s largest charging network for electric mobility. At over 500,000 charging points at around 950 providers in 28 countries, customers receive a convenient and cross-border charging experience. 

The Volkswagen Group’s goal is to become the leading provider of an intelligent charging and energy ecosystem. By 2025, a global network of a total of 45,000 high-power charging points (HPC) with an output of up to 350 kW will be established. By the end of 2022, the Group had already connected a total of around 15,000 fast-charging points to the grid with its subsidiaries IONITY, Ewiva and strategic partners BP and Iberdrola in Europe, Electrify America in the USA and CAMS in China. By the end of 2023, around 10,000 HPC charging points are expected to be available in Europe and up to 25,000 worldwide.

1) Shell Station Goettingen, Kasseler Landstrasse 99, 37081 Goettingen

2) Quelle: Bundesnetzagentur – E-Mobility: Public Charging Infrastructure (As of 01. January 2023)

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