Shell & BYD partner up on charging infrastructure
BYD and Shell have entered into a global strategic cooperation agreement for charging infrastructure. This will start in China and Europe and later be expanded globally.
In Europe, Shell and BYD will establish a mobility service provider (MSP) partnership. The two companies intend to jointly establish BYD-Shell EV service centres in “key European markets to provide customers with more opportunities to experience BYD’s premium design, advanced new energy vehicle technology, and smooth charging and digital services,” to Shell’s Chinese press release. Both companies will have jointly developed these services “to enhance the customer experience.”
Shell has said it will provide membership services to BYD’s personal and commercial customers in the future, covering more than 275,000 charging terminals on its charging roaming network throughout Europe. The two companies have said that they will work together to develop fleet solutions and exclusive charging services for BYD’s customers in Europe.
In China, BYD and Shell plan to set up a joint venture to develop an electric vehicle charging network. The joint venture is expected to operate more than 10,000 electric vehicle charging terminals in Shenzhen, with plans to expand to other cities in China.
Globally, the two companies have announced that they will seek opportunities to provide customers with integrated home energy solutions such as dynamic tariff scheduling, photovoltaic integration, home energy storage devices and vehicle-to-grid interaction (V2G) charging solutions.
Since BYD is also a major producer of batteries, this approach with Shell and stationary energy storage and V2G solutions would suggest BYD is interested in second-life storage solutions before batteries are eventually recycled since this is a common second-life application according to battery reuse and recycling guidelines in China. As yet, for example, BYD does not have recycling facilities in Europe but has somewhat more extensive battery-recycling facilities in China. Globally, the two companies say they intend to carry out R&D cooperation in fields like battery performance and EV charging.
In other exchanges between the two companies, Shell is to look at “how its technologies and products such as e-fluids and coolants can be used to help BYD save further costs and improve hardware performance”. Shell, for example, developed a “customised thermal management fluid” for a Kreisel Electric battery solution in 2020.
Shell had already formed a strategic partnership with Chinese electric car maker Nio a few months ago. This agreement is for Nio and Shell to construct and operate battery charging and swapping facilities. Nio and Shell plan to jointly install 100 battery swap stations in China by 2025 and construct and operate pilot stations in Europe from 2022.
Shell has already been looking into stationary storage applications at fast-charging stations. Almost exactly a year ago, Shell and Alfen piloted a fast-charging hub with a 350-kWh stationary storage system supposed to circumvent the costly upgrade of the public electricity grid. At the same time, the two companies were investigating the extent to which the charging system can relieve the grid by feeding energy back into it as needed and thus generate revenue.
Shell has invested in electric vehicle charging providers in a big way over the last few years. Shell acquired the Dutch company NewMotion in autumn 2017 and US company Greenlots in early 2019. In November last year, NewMotion and its US counterpart Greenlots were rebranded as Shell Recharge Solutions. Shell also owns Berlin-based European charging solution Ubitricity.
Upon announcing the new partnership with Shell, Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD, said, “The automotive industry is undergoing significant centurial changes, and the development of new energy vehicles is an irresistible trend. Shell is the world’s leading energy company, with businesses worldwide making extraordinary contributions to meeting growing energy demands. BYD is willing to sincerely cooperate with Shell and seize the historic chance of new energy vehicles, providing consumers with high-quality service in charging facilities and new energy vehicles consumption and creating vital development opportunities.”