The Largest Fast-Charging Station in the World Is in Shenzhen, and It's Not Owned by Tesla

EV charging networks have started to build bigger and bigger stations, sometimes with hundreds of charging stalls. Intriguingly, it's not Tesla that operates the largest charging station in the world, but Shell. The oil giant just announced opening a 258-stall fast-charging station in China.
Shell opened the largest DC fast-charging station in the world 6 photos
Photo: Shell
Shell charging station in Shenzhen, ChinaShell charging station in London, UKShell charging station in London, UKShell charging station in Shenzhen, ChinaShell logo on a refueling station
As electric vehicles become more popular, the need for charging stations increased. Some have started building their own charging networks, with Tesla Supercharger and Rivian Adventure Network as the best examples. Others have relied on third-party service providers like Electrify America, Blink, EVGo, and others. Governments have stepped in, offering incentives to install and operate charging stations. This attracted even oil companies into the market, so we have Shell, BP, and others providing EV charging services.

Regardless of their ownership and objectives, all of them are dwarfed by Tesla's Supercharger network. It has the largest number of DC fast-charging stations in the world, expands the fastest, and has the best availability among its peers, with an uptime of 99.95%. Recently, Tesla started building bigger charging stations, with dozens and, sometimes, more than a hundred stalls. The largest so far is planned in Coalinga, California, with 164 stalls. That could have been the world's largest DC fast charging station, but Shell stole the show and opened a bigger station.

The world's largest gas retailer has just opened a 258-stall charging station near the Shenzhen Airport terminal in China. The station could charge more than 3,300 EVs per day during the trial period. In addition to EV charging, the facility offers a convenience store, a Shell Cafe, vending machines, and a driver lounge. The rooftop solar panels installed at the station generate about 300 MWh of electricity per year, helping Shell provide renewable energy to EV owners in the Shenzhen Airport area.

The station is operated by a joint venture between Shell and EV maker BYD. The two companies partnered in May 2022 to develop an EV charging network in China and Europe. The joint venture currently operates more than 13,000 charge points in Shenzhen. Shell is quite popular among EV owners in the region, with its stations utilized at two to three times the industry average rate, according to Shell.

Shenzhen is home to BYD headquarters, which explains why Shell's fast-charging push started there. About 860,000 new energy vehicles (that is, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric) are registered in Shenzhen. Shell and BYD also intend to expand their partnership in Europe, as BYD entered the market with its electric vehicles.

BYD is not the only Chinese carmaker that Shell is doing business with. The oil giant also signed a strategic agreement with NIO to jointly build battery swap stations in China and Europe. The first NIO-Shell swap station opened last August in Xiamen in southeastern China, while the first in Europe went online in the Netherlands on May 16, 2023.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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