Shell says electric vehicles will be crucial in its efforts to lower carbon emissions

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Electric vehicles will play a critical role in Royal Dutch Shell‘s efforts to cut emissions, according to a senior executive at the oil giant.

“If you look at the decarbonization opportunities of this mobility sector, EV plays a crucial role,” said Huibert Vigeveno, downstream director at Shell, adding that the company intends to expand its global electric vehicle charging stations network worldwide.

“What we’ve announced a couple of weeks ago is that we have 60,000 charging points in the world right now. We are going to move that to 500,000 by 2025, and 2.5 million by 2030,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.

The oil giant, which has faced legal battles for environmental issues such as pipeline leaks and oil spills, has accelerated its strategy to achieve its target to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.

Last month, Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) and Shell jointly awarded a research grant to a consortium led by Eigen Energy. The grant will help the Singaporean solar firm develop the country’s first series of service stations integrated with smart energy management solutions by 2022.

FILE – This Aug. 29, 2012 file photo shows a gas prices at a Shell gas station in Oklahoma City. The government’s monthly jobs report has become Washington’s most anticipated and studied economic indicator _ pounced upon by politicians, economists and journalists for snap judgments as the presidential election nears. But in the real world, most everybody else just looks around and figures things out for themselves. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki

“Two years ago, in 2019 we had our first EV charging point in Singapore. Now, one third of our network already has it,” Vigeveno added.

In Europe, the company is already partnering with large players in the electric vehicle market.

It announced in April a pilot project with grid equipment maker Alfen to test a battery-backed ultra-fast charging system at a Dutch filling station, in the Netherlands. There are tentative plans to adopt the format more widely worldwide to ease the pressures likely to come with mass-market EV adoption

In January, Shell announced plans to purchase the owner of the U.K.’s largest public electric vehicle charging network, ubitricity, according to Reuters. The company reportedly has more than 2,700 charge points in the country.

Shell also aims to significantly improve customer experience by cutting down charging times at EV stations.

“I have an electric car myself and if I charge my car at home, it takes hours. Well, that’s not something I want to do as when I’m on the go. So I have to offer it to you in a way that I can recharge it, in 10 to 20 minutes,” said Vigeveno, without providing further details.

Shell said on its website it’s working on intelligent charging technologies to can help ensure the smooth integration of EVs into the electricity system in ways such as adjusting charge times and speed of charge.

Meanwhile, the Anglo-Dutch company will continue to make its push in biofuels as it ramps up efforts to reduce carbon emissions, according to Vigeveno.

He added the company already has a very big position in biofuels with its joint venture in Raizen, which produces low-carbon fuels from sugar cane in Brazil.

“Raizen is now 3% of the global production of biofuels. And I see many more opportunities for first and second generation of biofuels and being part of our value chains,” Vigeveno said.