04 May 2023: Shell Germany and Volkswagen Group announced the launch of an innovative 150 kW charging station for electric vehicles at a Shell service station in Gottingen, Germany. Developed by Volkswagen’s Elli brand, the charging station features a cutting-edge battery storage system that can connect to a low voltage grid, allowing for more flexible and efficient installation while speeding up grid expansion. After a successful testing phase, Shell and Volkswagen intend to expand the availability of Flexpole charging station to more locations across Germany and other regions of Europe.
The German government has set an ambitious target of providing one million charging points for EVs by 2030. Data from the Federal Network Agency shows that the number of charging points has already increased by approximately 21,000 in the past year, bringing the total number to over 80,000. Out of these, around 67,000 are standard charging points, while the remaining 13,000 are fast charging points. The expansion of the charging infrastructure has been delayed due to the long delivery times for special transformers required for the charging points. Moreover, the country’s approximately 900 distribution system operators have varying transformer requirements, further complicating the situation.
The Elli Flexpole solution has the potential to overcome one of the major challenges in expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. By using an integrated battery system, the Flexpole chargers can be directly connected to the low voltage grid, eliminating the need for costly construction work or specialised transformers. This greatly reduces installation time and costs. Additionally, Flexpole charging stations have the capability to charge electric vehicles at a rapid speed of up to 150 kW, enabling a range of up to 160 kms to be charged in just 10 minutes, depending on the vehicle.
In a press release by Volkswagen Group, Tobias Bahnsen, Head of Shell E-Mobility responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland stated, "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 electric vehicles and thus reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector".
The joint efforts of Shell and Volkswagen in providing a dependable and convenient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is an important achievement in the journey towards a sustainable future. Their investment not only helps safeguard the environment but also contributes to the economic growth and prosperity of communities worldwide.