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Exclusive: Shell to install e-scooter charging hubs in forecourts

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Shell is set to become the first oil company in the world to install e-scooter charging hubs in its forecourts.

Charging station operator Swiftmile has partnered with Shell to install Recharge micromobility hubs at retail stations and garages throughout Berlin this summer.

While Shell already supplies EV fast chargers for battery electric cars at its retail sites in Europe, the partnership with Swiftmile is its first foray into shared micromobility.

Zag spoke exclusively to Magnus Johansson, managing director EMEA at Swiftmile, who described the partnership as a “big proof point” for the micromobility sector.

“Swiftmile teamed with Shell because of their sector leadership on electrification, and we’ve been thrilled with them as a partner,” he said.

“Shell stepping onto the micromobility charging scene is a big proof point for our sector, and we’re going to need partners with their size to scale Swiftmile’s vision globally.”

The partnership will see the installation of 25 new hubs in Berlin by autumn 2021, growing Swiftmile’s network in the city to more than 30 stations and providing the capacity for around 200 micromobility devices to be charged at once.

Berlin is currently home to more than 16,000 shared e-scooters, making it Europe’s largest fleet.

Swiftmile is also partnering with e-scooter operators in the city to increase use of the new hubs, which provide free, secure charging and docking for both shared and private e-scooters.

This deployment will build on Swiftmile’s growing charging network across Berlin, which already includes four stations in partnership with the BVG.

In May, Swiftmile also partnered with micromobility operator Lime to launch stations on the outskirts of Berlin.

Swiftmile’s existing presence in Berlin has enabled it to gauge the level of interest in this service and Johansson said that the feedback so far has been “fantastic”.

“Judging by the high utilization of those stations, it’s clear that Berliners like having a reliable place to find fully charged scooters and park them after a journey,” he explained.

“The feedback from Lime and their riders has been fantastic thus far, as people can now make the reverse commute from the city totally car-free. Swiftmile’s new stations with Shell will work interchangeably with this existing Berlin network, helping all local operators reduce their use of vans for vehicle charging.”

With its service expanding in Berlin, Johansson revealed that Swiftmile is looking at the potential to launch in other European cities.

“Swiftmile is in active discussions with a number of European cities and commercial partners about new deployments, particularly in the UK, Italy and the Nordics,” he said.

“To know our charging hubs are capturing global interest is humbling, and we’re eager to expand our product beyond Berlin.”

On whether the partnership with Shell could grow in the future, Johansson added: “We expect to find plenty of opportunities for this partnership to evolve as the popularity of e-scooters rises in Europe. Swiftmile is honoured to work alongside such a reputable corporation and we welcome continued collaboration ahead.”

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