Shell plans UK’S first ‘no-petrol’ sta­tion as jour­ney to­wards clean mo­tor­ing con­tin­ues

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Front page - By Jil­lian Am­brose

ROYAL Dutch Shell is pre­par­ing to open Bri­tain’s first “no-petrol” ser­vice sta­tion in the cap­i­tal next year as part of its drive to­wards cleaner mo­tor­ing.

The fore­court is ex­pected to of­fer mo­torists bio­fu­els, elec­tric ve­hi­cle charge points and hy­dro­gen cell re­fu­elling in­stead of tra­di­tional petrol and diesel pumps. Mean­while, the build­ings are due to be pow­ered by re­new­able en­ergy from so­lar pan­els on the fore­court roof.

Sources close to the An­glo-dutch oil gi­ant told The Sun­day Tele­graph that a cen­tral Lon­don site had been cho­sen, but the pro­ject was still at a very early stage. A spokesman for Shell de­clined to com­ment.

The no-petrol pro­ject is part of the com­pany’s at­tempts to de­velop al­ter­na­tive fu­els and over­haul its re­tail arm. Shell plans to open three hy­dro­gen cell re­fu­elling sta­tions in the UK this year.

The first opened along­side tra­di­tional pumps at the na­tion’s busiest re­fu­elling sta­tion at Cob­ham on the M25 in Fe­bru­ary.

Later this year Shell plans to roll out high-speed elec­tric ve­hi­cle charge points across a se­lec­tion of its 400 UK ser­vice sta­tions, al­low­ing driv­ers to charge their elec­tric ve­hi­cle bat­ter­ies by up to 80pc in 30 min­utes. The group is about to be­gin an 18-month pi­lot scheme to test what the fore­court of the fu­ture might look like. Ser­vice sta­tions will be pre­sented am­bi­tiously as “re­tail des­ti­na­tions”, pro­vid­ing good qual­ity food and cof­fee along­side high­speed Wi-fi. The trial will also in­clude col­lec­tion points for on­line shop­ping de­liv­er­ies to im­prove con­ve­nience.

For driv­ers who can­not wait to re­fuel, Shell is tri­alling app-based fuel de­liv­ery. In Rot­ter­dam cus­tomers can or­der fuel, spec­i­fy­ing the time and lo­ca­tion of the ser­vice. By leav­ing the fuel flap open, driv­ers do not even need to be present.

Shell is un­der pres­sure to guard against the threat of a quicker than ex­pected move away from fos­sil fu­els.

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