Motor Industry Update 18 March 2021

Ionity charge points Ionity charge point - Photo credit: Kia Motors

Shell partners Onto providing over 3,400 electric car charge points In the UK

Onto, the all-inclusive electric vehicle subscription provider, has partnered with Shell to give its users access to over 3,400 EV charge points across the UK.

This new partnership will mean that Onto customers will also be able to charge their vehicles at over 100 Shell Recharge charge points as well as have access to other charge points through its 17 charging network partners, at no extra cost to their monthly subscription.

The available network includes over 950 rapid charge points, including the Shell Recharge and Ionity network of ultra-high power (350 kWh) charging points, as well as Shell Recharge rapid and high-powered chargers (50 kWh and 150 kWh), which are powered by 100% certified renewable energy sources.

Rob Jolly, Co-founder and CEO at Onto, said:

“We’re hugely excited to partner with Shell to offer our customers even greater access and choice when it comes to charging their electric vehicle on the go.

“Customers tell us that being able to charge their car for free is a popular component of our all-inclusive subscription, so we’re thrilled to improve this offer through Shell’s extensive network of charging points, giving users more flexibility and convenience than ever.”

EV customers can find their closest charging station using the online map or via the ‘chargers’ button in the Onto app. Existing Onto subscribers have been issued Shell Recharge cards whilst new customers are being sent cards, providing them with immediate access to the Shell network.

Sarah Llewelyn, Head of Shell Fleet Solution, added:

“At Shell Fleet Solutions we are committed to helping our customers drive sustainable progress, wherever possible. By providing Onto customers with access to our EV charging network, offering them accessible and convenient charging solutions on the go, we hope that we can help make their electrification journey as seamless as possible.”

Majority of motorists say they are likely to buy an EV ‘in the near future’

Recent research by the online car supermarket has shown the growing appeal of electric vehicles with a majority of motorists who are now saying they would consider buying one ‘in the near future’.

This is the first time a majority of car buyers have signalled that they would be prepared to make the switch to an EV. These findings are supported by an increase in interest in used electric vehicles for sale at with a 40% increase in searches for EVs across the BuyaCar website compared with the same period last year.

Out of the 422 motorists asked what type of car they are considering next, 51% said they will consider an EV ‘in the near future’, with less than one in three drivers saying that they were not interested in buying an electric car imminently. The remaining 18.7% said that they have not yet started thinking about it.

Recent searches on the website show a consistently growing interest in electric cars over internal combustion engine and even hybrid cars, showing that buyers are actively considering an EV more than at any time before.

Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, said:

“Clearly the switch to EVs will not happen overnight and relying entirely on sales data can be misleading because today’s sales fail to reflect the growing underlying interest in electric cars.

“But a 40% increase in searches – even from an initially low level – is clear evidence that an EV is now certainly in the mix for a rapidly growing number of people during their initial car buying research.

“It seems clear that last year’s government announcement of the end for new internal combustion engines has boosted EVs into the mainstream in terms of the initial options considered by our customers.”

Electromobility test centres being established in Gothenburg, Nykvarn and Borås

Chalmers University of Technology and RISE are beginning the construction of Sweden’s first electromobility test centre: the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL), with the electrification of the transport sector being speeded up at SEEL’s three plants in Gothenburg, Nykvarn and Borås.

With close collaboration between the twin owners Chalmers University of Technology and RISE, the Swedish government and the industrial partners CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, the test centre will be a key resource, allowing collaboration with players throughout Europe, thereby making Sweden a world leader in the field of electromobility. An investment of SEK 1.3bn is expected to be made in the test centre.

Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation commented:

“Sweden has a long tradition of vehicle manufacture, and we are at the same time one of the world’s most innovative countries. Through SEEL we are making use of these strengths to electrify the transport sector, reduce emissions and simultaneously increase Sweden’s competitiveness and create jobs in Sweden. This will be an important tool with which the Swedish automotive industry can steer global development towards increased sustainability.”

Tests will be carried out on most of the types of technology and safety consideration required for electrified transport at the test centre’s three plants, including innovative new concepts at early stages of development. It will comprise of a number of different kinds of components for electrical drivelines and energy storage intended for vehicles and ships, as well as systems for propulsion and energy management. In real terms, this means gearboxes, shaft systems, hubs, electric motors, power electronics, batteries and fuel cells with the marine and aviation sectors also benefitting.

Pia Sandvik, CEO of RISE, said:

“SEEL will increase the Swedish automobile industry’s competitiveness and contribute towards Sweden remaining at the cutting edge with regard to innovation within the transport sector. SEEL is very well placed to become a world-leading test centre for electromobility, and it will assume an important role in the automobile industry’s transitional work.”

The largest plant will be at Säve in Gothenburg with 13,000 square metres of space and will be able to meet the needs of developers of heavy and light vehicles, trucks and buses, construction equipment, aircraft and ships. They will be able to test all types of battery systems, including components from subcontractors.

The Borås plant’s focus will be related to charging, short circuits, vibrations, mechanical shock, extreme temperatures and fire risks. While at Nykvarn, the focus will be on research and testing in the field of battery technology, and dynamic testing of components for heavy vehicles.

Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology added:

“Together with RISE, Chalmers has chosen to assume active proprietorial responsibility for the test bed, so as to facilitate the most efficient support for the Swedish and European automotive industries in their rapid transition to electromobility. The venture simultaneously provides us with excellent opportunities to further consolidate our research and education in the field of electromobility.”

Sweden’s automotive industry has set ambitious targets for its technology transition, and the test centre will act as an open platform that will also welcome researchers, other big industrial companies, SMEs, professionals and students wishing to develop their knowledge in this area. The plan is for SEEL to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2023.