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Added 4 months ago

Will be very slow but looks like EVs are starting to impact petrol stations.

Shell's EV charging network will quadruple in size by 2030 (

Shell says it has more than 46,000 retail locations around the world. Many, if not most of them are gas stations. And as part of its “Energy Transition Strategy” report (pdf) that plots its (flagging) efforts to fight climate change, the British oil giant said it would close some of them. Not all of them, just 1,000. And not all at once — the cuts will be spread out over two years.

“We are upgrading our retail network, with expanded electric vehicle charging and convenience offers, in response to changing customer needs,” the company said in its report. “In total, we plan to divest around 500 Shell-owned sites (including joint ventures) a year in 2024 and 2025.”

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#Business Model/Strategy
Added 10 months ago

The future of service stations will be interesting regarding WPR.

I guess the first question is whether electric cars are the future - it is looking more likely that it is.

If we do transition to electric cars then quite obviously people will need to visit service stations less often, especially if they can get the same 'fuel' (electricity) at home or in shopping centre/office carparks.

Then again on long trips people would spend more time at service stations (25 minutes for a fast charge as i understand it) thus spending more as they have to wait. This would mean regional service stations may be more valuable than inner city service stations. So still a need for service stations, but less so.

Alternatively, I could envision the model changing whereby a battery is swapped out of a car for a new one to reduce the wait (and a service station model would still be needed). I have no idea but this seems like a viable method but seems logical to me - I have not read this being done.

All up it seems more likely than not that electric vehicles are a long-term negative for WPR. Can the service stations serve some other need? with the advent of Amazon and near instant delivery I feel them as convenience store likely isn't that viable either. As i understand it retiring a petrol station is also expensive given the toxic soil and underground tanks.

Next question, then is how long the transition will take. Many European countries have banned the sale of new combustion engines from anywhere from 2025 to 2035. Say a 10-year lifespan for a car then 2045 seems like we will still be driving combustion engines - noting Australia with the vast distances is a laggard. Nevertheless, there would be a gradual decline that would bite and sentiment would turn negative resulting in a multiple derate.

With an unfranked yield 7.0% currently, growing at CPI and the risk some decades off WPR could be interesting. The risks seem high though for a truly long-term investor given the uncertainties.

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