Shell Backs Earlier Petrol and Diesel Ban
Aug 16 2018 Read 1007 Times
The UK ban on petrol and diesel vehicles is looming, with sales set to be vetoed by 2040. While Shell is one of the world's biggest oil and gas giants, the British–Dutch multinational has backed a proposal that could see the fossil-fuel ban bought forward.
According to CEO Ben van Beurden, an earlier deadline would ease pressure on investment decisions, fast-track a shift in consumer attitudes and provide overall clarity.
“If you would bring it forward, obviously that would be welcome. I think the UK will have to go at a much higher speed than the speed the rest of the world can go,” he asserted.
While developing countries in places like Africa and Asia would have to transition to battery-powered vehicles at a slower rate, progressive nations like the UK are well-equipped to accelerate the switch.
“The world will work at different speeds,” says van Beurden.
Shell sets sights on electric car infrastructure
While the electric car revolution will slash demand for petrol and threaten the success of gas stations, Shell doesn't seem overly concerned. The global energy giant has responded to the green energy revolution by investing in electric car infrastructure firms and installing charging stations across the country.
Currently, the UK is home to around 160,000 battery-powered cars. Numbers are slowly increasing, with roughly 2.2% of new car sales classified as electric in 2018. Meanwhile, the country offers almost 17,000 charging points, including stations owned by NewMotion, one of Europe's biggest EV charging providers. Back in 2017 Shell purchased the company for an undisclosed amount.
Winning over climate change critics
In the wake of recent climate change lawsuits filed against a throng of major oil companies, Shell is doing everything it can to win over the public mindset. The cities of San Francisco and Oakland recently sued the likes of Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil, claiming the companies were responsible for serious flooding due to climate change. The state of Rhode Island launched a similar suit, accusing Shell and other oil and gas majors of bring key contributors to the climate change-induced sea level rises and water temperature increases currently impacting the state.
“It’s sort of bizarre that the users of our products say, actually we don’t want your product, why did you force it on us,” says Van Beurden.
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