Shell and Ubitricity earlier this week announced plans to install 50,000 on-street EV charging stations in the United Kingdom by the end of 2025, greatly improving access to charging for drivers in urban areas.
Shell-owned Ubitricity has designed charging hardware that can fit into streetlight posts, providing charging access to street-parked cars without taking up an additional space. Metering is built into the lamp posts, and Ubitricity can bill users via an app. About 3,600 charging stations are already in place around the U.K., according to a Shell press release.
More than 60% of households in English cities and urban areas don't have access to off-street parking, Shell said, making home charging virtually impossible. It's the same story in the United States, where home charging has become the preferred choice for many EV drivers, but options for those who live in cities, apartments, or condos are harder to come by.
Ubitricity electric-car charging cord
Shell announced plans to buy Ubitricity in January. It also earlier this year admitted that we're past peak oil, and sees a business opportunity in carbon offsets.
The oil company said that, globally, it plans to grow its EV charging network from more than 60,000 charging stations today to more than 500,000 by 2025. However, the oil giant hasn't discussed specific plans to bring Ubitricity's on-street EV charging to the U.S.
There are no such large-scale projects for streetside charging yet in the U.S.; although one of the more ambitious ones we've reported on involves installations around Kansas City. A pilot program aims to install the first charging stations before the end of the year, with more to come if the program proves successful.