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Shell buys NewMotion, takes big step toward electrified future

The writing's been on the wall for some time, and Shell's not stupid.

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Shell just wrote a new chapter in its history by diving into the world of EV charging networks.

Royal Dutch Shell announced Thursday that it has agreed to purchase NewMotion, a Dutch EV charging company that owns one of Europe's largest charging networks. Shell did not mention how much the deal was worth. This is the British-Dutch company's first deal in the electric-vehicle space.

Thankfully, you can burn some time perusing the gas station's magazine collection while your EV charges up.

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Shell already had a program in place to install EV fast-chargers at some of its gas stations, as the market slowly warms to electric vehicles. This program will continue alongside NewMotion's efforts, which focuses more on chargers at home and the workplace. Reuters reports that Shell will continue to operate NewMotion under its current name and there are no plans to integrate the two different EV-charger strategies.

Those of us in the US have yet to see fast chargers at Shell stations, because the company is focused on different markets, such as Britain, Norway and the Philippines. As demand grows around the world, though, that's likely to change.

NewMotion operates approximately 30,000 chargers across Western Europe and offers access to 50,000 more partner companies' chargers. It has approximately 100,000 registered users in Europe. The company signed a deal with Total in September to give its customers access to NewMotion's network, so this company is no stranger to working with oil companies already.

Energy providers aren't total strangers to EV chargers, either. Per Reuters, BP mentioned earlier this year that it was in talks with companies about partnerships that would see EV chargers installed at BP stations.

Oil companies aren't dummies. EVs will eat into their profits from filling up gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. Multiple cities and countries have expressed interest in reducing local emissions by restricting or cutting off city access to cars with internal-combustion engines. By adding EV chargers to their stations, customers will still have a reason to keep showing up and plunking down some hard-earned money.