What the clean energy transition means for the oil and gas industry
According to the Department of Energy, there are currently about 41,400 EV charging stations across the U.S. and fewer than 5,000 are fast chargers. Compared to more than 136,400 gas stations nationally, the industry will need to make significant leaps to catch up, and it will need to be done quickly.
Each day, more and more automakers announce their pathways to all-electric futures. Just recently, General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, announced a jettison switch of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to all-electric models — committing to selling 30 new global EVs by 2025. Some experts say the EV transition may be more rapid than we think. So what does a future without fossil fuels mean for oil and gas companies?
Many are already diversifying their energy offerings to appeal to EV customers by augmenting existing gas stations and refueling infrastructure. Just recently, oil and gas giant BP announced that it’s shifting gears and aiming to double the size of its charge point network in the UK by 2030. Shell, one of the largest publicly traded oil producers in the world, also announced its climate plan, which includes the deployment of 500,000 charging points by 2025. Both companies are focusing on fast and ultra-fast charging infrastructure that would minimize charging times to compete with the gas station experience, tackle “range anxiety” and prevent queues during high demand periods. The goals are strong, but the challenges around execution remain, specifically how to install all of these fast charging stations at scale without overloading the grid.
Chakratec’s solution: Flywheel energy storage
One solution that supports existing grid capacity and enables cost-effective and rapid deployment of EV chargers is energy storage. To expand customer offerings and adapt to the times, oil and gas companies need to be able to transition existing gas stations to EV charging sites without significant cost or fire hazard concerns. Chakratec’s unique flywheel energy storage technology for fast EV charging makes that possible.
Chakratec’s Kinetic Power Booster (KPB) is a flywheel-based energy storage system that does not use polluting, chemical battery cells and enables the deployment of fast and ultra-fast EV charging anytime, anywhere. For example, a single KPB has the ability to boost a low-power grid (20 kW) up to 120 kWp in order to charge multiple EVs in parallel, and enable fast charging in sites and locations where the local grids are not powerful enough. For oil and gas companies, this means avoiding expensive grid upgrades and moving costs, and dramatically reducing the impact of fast charging, which requires a lot of electricity, on the local grid. It also means avoiding high-demand charges.
Furthermore, the KPB is fire-safe and can be hooked up to EV chargers that integrate with renewable energy to further satisfy sustainability goals and promote clean air quality. We’re already partnered with oil and gas companies to install fast EV charging at scale. In February 2021, we announced an exciting strategic partnership with ARKO Corp. to expand charging infrastructure throughout North America by 2030. A preliminary pilot will be conducted in the U.S. next year. We’re excited to keep the momentum going and work with other fuel retail giants to help them meet their EV targets.