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Transport decarbonisation having a ‘fundamental impact’ as Shell bids for leading position

Image: Current±

Image: Current±

Shell is “determined to lead” the transformation of mobility, its vice president of global accounts and business, Patrick Carré has said.

Speaking at an industry event organised by the Financial Times, Carré said the transformation of the mobility space is having “a fundamental impact and we are determined to lead this change, not follow it”.

“It is very clear to all of us in Shell that in ten or fifteen or twenty years, our sources of profit will be significantly different from what they are today,” Carré said, pointing to how in some markets, the stores on Shell’s retail sites have a “significantly higher” profit contribution that the fuel itself.

“That will continue as we develop our energy business, our hydrogen business, our recharging business and our biofuel business.”

Shell is targeting a wide range of technologies, including battery electric vehicles, second generation biofuel and hydrogen for heavy goods vehicles “in the slightly more distant future”, as there are no clear answers as to which technologies will win the race in different markets.

The differing markets, including the differing energy systems and governments, means more than one technology will “emerge in parallel”, Carré said.

“Not all of these bets will win,” he added. “We are making bets; that’s very clear. Therefore a portfolio approach is extremely important to us.”

Shell operates the Recharge network of EV chargers, claiming a UK first with the installation of a 150kW charger in London in July.

It also acquired European charge point operator NewMotion in 2017, a move which Carré said demonstrates its portfolio approach as any mix of destination charging, home charging and rapid charging at a forecourt could become popular with consumers.

"I think there is a perfectly legitimate case to make that says consumers will only accept an electric mobility proposition if they don’t have to invest in infrastructure themselves and can run their routine as they do today," he continued, suggesting that rapid chargers could facilitate this, which would give "an established network of retail sites a clear relevance".

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