Shell to broaden base of car-firm partners for EVs

At a glance

  • The rollout of electric vehicles in the Philippines still tracks very gradual pace; and charging infrastructure is one component of the entire supply chain that has also been the focus of attention both by the industry players and policymakers.

SINGAPORE — Shell Philippines will be broadening the base of car manufacturer-partners in the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry so it can viably support targeted ramp up of EV charging facilities’ rollout, according to a ranking executive of the company.

In an interview on the sidelines of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Shell Pilipinas Corporation Vice President for Mobility Randolph T. Del Valle noted that the company will be deploying various EV chargers depending on the need or uptake of EVs in the country; and it will also be a fit-for-purpose type of technology deployment.

In the case of Chinese EV firm BYD, he conveyed that the company is already an OEM partner of Shell globally, hence, that business alliance when it comes to EV ventures shall also extend to the Philippine market.

The Shell executive similarly disclosed that the second ultra-fast EV charger of the company will be set for grand opening this month in Rosario, La Union, right at the end of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) – and that has been designed to cater to travelers heading to Northern Luzon; as well as on their drive back to Manila and other neighboring-provinces. The company’s first ultra-fast EV charger is at its Mamplasan mobility site at the South Luzon Expressway.

“Our mobility station in La Union will be the most complete – we have Shell Café that has a drive through, we have car wash, we have Shell Select, then we have EV fast charger; and of course, we also have our fuel products there,” he stressed.

Circling back to the OEMs, Del Valle explained that “a tie-up with them is very important when we put up our charging facilities because the key questions of customers when they will buy their EV vehicle is that: where do we charge and will the chargers fit the requirement of their cars, so we have to address those based on our partnership with OEMs.”

He added “the synergy of the OEMs and EV charging station providers like us will be critical in terms of compatibility of the EVs with the charging infrastructure to be provided,” noting that in some instances, there could also be customization when it comes to the technology that shall be deployed – primarily on the utilization of renewable energy (RE) at the EV chargers.

Del Valle specified that the kind of chargers that the company would be able to deploy include slow-chargers or those that can be used to charge EVs at homes; then the destination chargers that may be installed at the malls and other commercial parking spaces; as well as the fast and ultra-fast chargers that can be integrated as added facility in the mobility stations of Shell.

“We can provide the EV chargers – and that will depend on the need of the EV buyers from our OEM partners, and we really do the rollout of chargers at pace with the industry’s growth. It’s a chicken-and-egg dilemma because you can’t just install the chargers when there are no customers that will be using them,” he indicated.

The Shell executive specified that for slow chargers, it could take roughly 10 hours to have full charge on EVs; while the destination chargers which are usually fast-chargers set up at malls and public parking spaces could take at least 3-5 hours; while the ultra-fast chargers of 170-kilowatt configuration may only take roughly 25-30 minutes.