Reacting to rising electric and plug-in hybrid sales, fuel suppliers are preparing to install battery-charging points at a number of their European petrol stations.
Shell will offer the charging points at a selection of stations in urban areas in the UK and the Netherlands later this year. Total is studying the viability of installing charging points at some stations in its French home market. The Italy-based supplier ENI is already offering charging points at some of its domestic and central European petrol stations.
Although often seen as a threat to the oil industry, the gradual introduction of electric vehicles can be an opportunity instead – EV and plug-in hybrid drivers have plenty of time to spend at the petrol station’s restaurant, coffee corner and shop.
Shell says it is looking at how it can be part of the energy transition, convinced of the fact that there will not be one solution. Hydrogen, electric vehicles and biofuels will all have their place, according to the company – an opinion shared by many car manufacturers.
KIA, too, believes in the coexistence of different powertrains. Apart from the conventional petrol and diesel models, its line-up consists of electric (Soul), hybrid (Niro) and plug-in hybrid models (Optima).
The latest addition to their alternatively powered portfolio is the D-segment Optima Plug-in Hybrid. With CO2 emissions of just 37 g/km and an electric range of 54 km, this elegant D-segment four-door saloon takes centre stage in the fleet scene.