Shell sets its sights on deploying 500,000 electronic vehicle chargers by 2025
It is not uncommon for new high-growth, venture capital-driven industries to take an “expand market now, work out profits later” approach. Right now, the best guesses that most experts could muster to the Washington Examiner for how EV chargers make money are through indirect revenues.
“Earnings for charging stations likely won’t come from selling electricity alone but rather from ‘add-ons’ like other goods and services — things like food and drinks that can also be sold by the charging station itself. Movie theaters have the same model, pocketing a large share of cash from selling hot dogs and soda rather than movie tickets themselves,” Ashley Nunes, director of competition policy at the R Street Institute, told the Washington Examiner.
“Companies are relying on charging stations as a path towards earnings. Tesla, for example, uses its charging network to address potential consumer concerns about running out of battery,” Nunes added.
However, Shell alone plans to add multiple times as many charging stations currently available in the United States. If other big gas stations compete with Shell by building out a significant number of EV charging stations, it could change what drivers of cars with gas-burning internal combustion engines think of as possible.
Nunes admitted that currently, “the market for charging stations is still quite small. Market share for electric cars is paltry, and government rebates have a poor record among consumers who drive the dirtiest vehicles, who should switch to electric cars.”
Kornhauser, however, said, “Shell’s number seems substantial, seems like it is essentially equivalent to the number of Shell gas pumps or stations that Shell has geographically distributed throughout the nation.” Therefore, Shell management “must think that EVs are for real” and “see a substantial conversion to EV soon.”