Shell plans to divest 1,000 retail outlets as part of its shift towards electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

It recognizes benefits in offering charging services, leveraging its network of convenience stores.


As part of its strategy to transition towards cleaner energy sources, Shell, the energy giant, intends to reduce its retail presence by selling off some of its gasoline stations, focusing instead on expanding its electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.


In its 2024 Energy Transition Strategy report, Shell announced plans to divest around 500 Shell-owned sites annually in 2024 and 2025, amounting to a 2.1% reduction in its retail footprint. The company emphasizes its commitment to meet evolving customer demands by enhancing its network of EV charging stations and convenience offerings.


Shell aims to bolster its charging business by investing more in public charging infrastructure, particularly in regions like China and Europe where demand for EVs and public charging facilities is high. It plans to increase the number of charging points from the current 54,000 to 200,000 by 2030.


While Shell’s EV chargers are currently located at its filling stations, on-street locations, and various other sites including supermarkets, it plans to expand its presence further. Notably, its acquisition of Volta charging in 2023 has provided Shell with one of the largest charging networks in the United States.


Despite a recent slowdown in EV demand in the U.S., Shell remains committed to the global energy transition. It sees opportunities for growth in sectors like fleet charging and residential infrastructure projects. The company believes that despite the closure of some sites, owning and operating physical locations, especially those with existing convenience stores and car wash facilities, will continue to be advantageous.


Nathan Niese, associate director of electrification and climate change at Boston Consulting Group, suggests that retail operators like Shell have a promising strategy for the charging business, particularly if they can leverage existing sites with high traffic and complementary amenities like convenience stores and car washes.

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