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Shocker: Big Oil May End Up Dominating Public Electric Vehicle Charging

Electric vehicle owners love to tell you how they love living without "big oil." But what if big oil owns all the charging stations?


BP, Sunoco, and Shell; All names you probably associate with "big oil." And if you are an electric vehicle enthusiast, most likely not on your short list of thanks at the Thanksgiving Day dinner blessing. Let's face it, EVangelists list kicking big oil to the curb as one of the top reasons they love driving electric. The fun irony is that all three of the companies we listed to start this story are presently moving to have a huge presence in public EV charging stations.

Shell has recently purchased New Motion, a European EV charging station provider with 30,000 charge points. To give you some perspective, Shell has about 25,000 self-branded gas stations worldwide. And Shell has other EV charging partners already in place, like Allego, who place chargers at Shell gas stations.

Shell isn't the only member of the big oil club with cash to spare and an interest in being in the public EV charging business. BP is in talks with automakers to supply public EV charging. You may remember BP as the folks who brought you the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Electric vehicle chargers at gas stations are also not unusual in the U.S. The infrastructure is already in place, the leases already signed, and in many cases, vehicle services and convenience stores are already on hand. The fact that in the U.S. plug-in hybrids are keeping pace with battery electric vehicle sales also means that owners of PHEVs can both charge and fill up at the same place. As it turns out, gas stations are the perfect place to charge an electric car.


Mark Day (not verified)    October 16, 2017 - 7:54PM

Convenience stores should be adding movie theaters - for those waiting for charge completion. Good book for the rush to EVs: "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds" - Charles Mackay

Marc Stern    October 19, 2017 - 6:53PM

Wonder why California charging companies had puppies when VW diesel settlement was announced and the automaker was tasked with paying in about $2 billion to create or expand infrastructure. The independents just couldn't wait to keep VW out and worried they would be the 800-lb. gorilla in this whole conversation of who would dominate charging. Guess it won't be VW.