Alfen partnership delivers Shell’s first fully electric service station in Belgium
With the volume of electric vehicle (EV) usage in Belgium continuing to expand, an increasing demand for charging stations is following that trajectory. Shell Recharge, a division of the Shell Global company, and Alfen are both committed to supporting this charging infrastructure requirement to help the country continue marching toward its decarbonization commitments by 2050. Together, they reached a key milestone in 2023, premiering Shell’s first fully electric service station in Belgium with the support of Alfen’s transformer technology.
In the first quarter of 2023, Belgium experienced a nearly 28% surge of EV registrations - more than 131,000 vehicles. This growth spurt pushed the total EV vehicle market (including fully electric and hybrid models) to ~40% of the country’s market share. Convenient and affordable access to recharging stations will continue playing an integral role in supporting expansion of the EV market. While numerous Belgian service stations are transitioning to hybrid models of delivering both petrol fuel and electric charging technology, the need for more charging access points is ongoing, particularly in densely populated districts like Brussels.
Shell Recharge has taken the next step, with the help of Alfen, in its electrification journey in Belgium, premiering their first all-electric service station which was converted from an existing diesel fuel site in Brussels. The site’s ‘Mobility Hub’ features four fast-charging stations for optimal driver convenience to return commuters to their travels within minutes of ‘plugging in.’ Alfen’s Belgian team delivered a custom medium-voltage transformer to power the station, which was installed in the existing footprint of the facility.
“Manufacturing and installing a transformer - and the supporting infrastructure- at this particular station was complex due to the limited space available inside the building structure,” explained Patrick Janssen, Corporate Relations Manager, Belgium & Luxembourg. “Based on previous projects we’ve partnered with Alfen on in Belgium and beyond, we were confident they would bring the expertise needed to help transform our Brussels site into an exclusively EV service station.”
Alfen’s project scope also included installing new electrical infrastructure to seamlessly deliver ample power to the EV charging stations. The team’s technical support enabled Shell to convert the station far faster and more economically compared to building a new EV-friendly site from the ground up.
Alfen’s 1,000 kVA transformer delivers sufficient power for the station’s fast chargers to have commuters back on the road within 30 minutes or less. The transformer will also power the site’s convenience store, which is scheduled to open in early 2024. Shell plans to have ~300 all-EV charge points in Belgium by the end of 2023, adding to its 12,500 accessible charge points across Europe.
“With service station conversions like this one projected to increase going forward, this was an important project for Alfen and the Belgium team to successfully deliver,” said Yves Vercammen, Alfen’s Belgium country manager. “Providing solutions at sites where building structures are already in place requires more flexibility, creativity and a focus on safety which is a top priority our team shares with Shell. We’re proud of what we accomplished together.”