An implementation concept for highly efficient shell finite elements with linear shape functions is presented. In the context of explicit time integration small time steps in combination with only vector operations on global level lead to a domination of element processing. The presented implementation concept is based on the application of the symbolic programming tool AceGen, an extension to the computer algebra software Mathematica. The presented shell elements including standard (=full) numerical integration in combination with different approaches in order to reduce artificial stiffness effects are implemented into the in-house Finite Element code Feap-MeKa. The specifics of the implementation concept are discussed and the efficiency and functionality of the element formulations are presented on numerical examples including large deformations.