April 20, 2024

A Shell gas station

A Shell gas station
Photo: Carl Court (Getty Images)

Shell claims that it has more than 46,000 retail locations around the world. Many, if not most of them are gas stations. And as part of its “Energy Transition Strategy” report (pdf) that plots its (flagging) efforts to fight climate change, the British oil giant said it would close some of them. Not all of them, just 1,000. And not all at once — the cuts will be spread out over two years.

“We are upgrading our retail network, with expanded electric vehicle charging and convenience offers, in response to changing customer needs,” the company said in its report. “In total, we plan to divest around 500 Shell-owned sites (including joint ventures) a year in 2024 and 2025.”

More EV charging

It’s not clear how many of those “sites” are gas stations, where they’re located, what will likely happen to them after they’re divested. Shell did not immediately to a request to clarify its plans for its retail network. Much clearer, though, are its plans for its EV charging network.

At the end of last year, Shell was operating about 54,000 chargers located overwhelmingly in China and Europe. In the former country, Shell operates a joint-venture with Tesla rival BYD that has 258 “fast-charging” ports at a single station near the Shenzhen airport. By 2030, however, the company hopes to have more than 200,000 publicly accessible chargers.

“We are growing our electric vehicle charging business to support customers who choose to change from a petrol or diesel vehicle to an electric one,” the company said in its report.

The company said it expects to make 12% return on its investment for every dollar it spends on building out its EV infrastructure.

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