ViaVan, the joint venture between Daimler's Mercedes-Benz Vans and US startup Via, is to work with Shell for recharging in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The two companies said the project combines ViaVan expertise in on demand mobility technology with Shell's charging network "to demonstrate the viability of deploying shared, electric vehicle fleets in urban environments".

The companies want to show high capacity electric fleets can improve performance when routing to available chargers is optimised with intelligence.

ViaVan has developed an EV routing algorithm which maximises EV range and battery usage.

In Amsterdam, the system will continuously monitor the battery status of all vehicles in the fleet, calculate upcoming charging needs and route vehicles to Shell's charging stations.

The oil company has been working on developing charging networks and partnering with EV makers on projects such as the recent Greenlots/Ford agreement and a small Shell Recharge operation in Singapore.

ViaVan reckons cities such as Amsterdam, which already have made extensive investments in public charging infrastructure, would benefit from better EV fleet vehicle management.

Amsterdam was chosen as the initial market for the project in large part for its commitment to transport sustainability, zero-emission transport by 2025 goal and because it was home both to ViaVan's first shared ride service in Europe and Shell's Technology Centre.

"The successful integration of electric vehicles into fleets of on demand shared shuttles is a complex operational challenge that requires smart EV technology," said ViaVan CEO Chris Snyder.