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HomenewsShell launches its fastest EV chargers powered by solar energy at 3...

Shell launches its fastest EV chargers powered by solar energy at 3 locations

Shell launches its fastest EV chargers powered by solar energy at 3 locations

(Image source: The Straits Times)

Note: This article was written by Lee Nian Tjoe and first appeared in The Straits Times on 7 August 2023.

Shell has rolled out electric vehicle (EV) chargers at three stations that can charge as much as 50 per cent of the battery on a Hyundai Ioniq 5 in around 15 minutes.

Rated at up to 180 kilowatts (kW), these new EV chargers – located at service stations in Tampines, Pasir Ris and Lakeview – are the fastest publicly available chargers in Singapore.

Shell on Monday said they are more than three times faster than the 50kW chargers it has at other stations. The next-quickest ones are rated at up to 150kW at SPC Bukit Batok, provided by SP Mobility.

Speaking at the launch at Shell’s Lakeview station, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said that while overnight slow charging is likely to be the most common charging mode here, fast charging is a useful complement that facilitates charging on the go.

Shell’s fast chargers make EVs a more attractive option for drivers, he said, adding that the launch is a “meaningful milestone in Singapore’s journey towards a sustainable and smart energy future”.

Dr Tan noted that the chargers at the three stations draw energy entirely from local renewable sources, including solar panels on the rooftops and other Shell assets.

Each station has a big lithium-ion storage battery to safely hold electricity generated by the solar panels.

The battery energy storage system is part of a project awarded to a consortium led by a local solar company, Eigen Energy, which received a research grant from the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Shell in 2021.

Depending on factors like electricity demand, the state of charge in the storage batteries and whether there is electricity supply from the solar panels, the system decides how to use the energy stored – whether to discharge it continuously to enable high-powered EV charging or to slow down charging speeds.

EMA said the project’s findings can potentially be replicated for future energy systems to improve safety, lower compliance costs, and facilitate greater adoption of solar energy in Singapore.

Two different sizes of battery energy storage systems are used – the ones at Lakeview and Pasir Ris are rated at 178 kilowatt-hour (kWh), while a 389kWh one is used at Tampines.

Shell said that, using a typical 30kWh charging session as a reference, the system is able to serve “at least five to 12 EV drivers consecutively” before needing a recharge.

The energy comes from the solar panels, which are installed at the rooftops of 37 Shell stations and the Shell Tuas Lubricants Plant.

By integrating the EV chargers at the three stations with the storage system as well as renewable energy from the rooftop solar panels, Shell said it is able to work around the constraints of the electrical grid.

The storage system provides the electricity needed by the fast chargers without needing any expensive upgrade to the power supply going into the station.

Shell said this will allow it to put in more high-powered EV charging points needed for Singapore’s clean energy transition.

The renewable energy from the solar panels at Shell’s stations and plant is also fed into Singapore’s national power grid.

A single megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity put into the grid translates to a single renewable energy certificate (REC).

The REC is issued by certified registries in accordance with applicable industry standards, and retired when that amount of electricity is used.

This means that even when any of the three stations taps the electrical grid to charge up an EV, the energy used will still be deemed as renewable energy because it will be drawing from the REC.

While Shell’s new chargers are the fastest here, the actual time needed to charge an EV also depends on the vehicle’s specification. A BYD Atto 3, for example, can take only up to 80kW.

EV chargers adjust the rate that they supply the power to suit the EV. If there are two EVs plugged in at the station at the same time, the charging speed will slow down.

Besides upgrading its charging service for smaller EVs, Shell is also developing an even faster charging solution for heavy-duty commercial EVs like electric trucks and buses.

Rated at 360kW, this is the highest charger rating certified for commercial usage in Singapore.

Shell said this commercial EV charger is located at Woodlands Spectrum 1 and is done in partnership with Busways, which specialises in electrical power engineering works.

The consortium wants to test the charging capabilities of EV charging systems on such vehicles and is open to corporate trials of electric buses, trucks and other heavy-duty EVs.

Source: The Straits Times

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