The latest evidence of this is BP’s partnership with Volkswagen to supply Europe with public charging stations for EVs.
Reuterssays the new project would add 8,000 fast-charging spots throughout the continent by 2024.
BP’s enthusiasm for EVs and green tech is a mixed bag
If you’re suspicious of Big Oil latching its future on electric vehicles, you’re not alone. A Google search for “Beyond Petroleum,” the full name of BP, first auto-fills with the term “greenwashing” added to the brand name.
Green technology has clearly been on the minds of the British petroleum company for quite some time. Executives swapped out the national adjective in its name for the future-focused substitute already in 2000.
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Other ‘Big Oil’ environmental track records
Like BP, many of the big names in gasoline offer
EV chargersat their locations. Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMobil have all adopted the practice at many of their gas stations. But in each case, these companies have less-than-exemplary environmental track records.
Shell, BP’s UK rival, has had similar ups and downs in its attempts to improve its impact on the climate for decades.
The conflicting behavior continues in recent years, with the company’s decision to pull out of Canada’s oil sands in 2017 contradicted by its current humpback whale-harming oil exploration in South Africa, as per the
Chevron and ExxonMobil’s reputations are potentially even more at odds with the ethos of EVs.
Chevron’s EV battery production in the 2000s was suspected of being a ruse to stifle competition to gasoline, and while the company has invested in greener energy projects, their commitment to them has been limited at best.
ExxonMobil didn’t acknowledge the reality of climate change until 2014, and in 2019, CEO Darren Woods was quoted saying he doesn’t get the point of electric vehicles at all. Evidence of the company’s efforts to lobby against eco-friendly policies date as recently as August 2021.
Gas likely won’t be cheap for awhile
The current spike in gas prices is making these supermajors a lot of money.
Yahoo!says Shell’s first-quarter earnings rose by $5.9 billion compared to the same period last year. And until things are resolved between Russia and Ukraine, those earnings will likely continue to go up.
But as electric vehicles become more accessible,
soaring gas pricescould end up biting these gas giants in the butt. Even when using electricity created by fossil fuels, EVs require much less energy than gas cars, offering savings that could convince a lot more drivers to make the switch.
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