How Are Gas Companies Adapting to Electric Vehicles?

BP and other gas companies already have chargers installed at their stations. But does that make them green?
Written by Andrew Koole
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
May 16, 2022
With
gas prices
where they are, you’re probably not too worried about how oil companies are handling the transition away from fossil fuels. But you can bet that the big players like BP, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil plan to stay relevant as
electric vehicles
take over.
The latest evidence of this is BP’s partnership with Volkswagen to supply Europe with public charging stations for EVs.
Reuters
says the new project would add 8,000 fast-charging spots throughout the continent by 2024.
BP isn’t the only gas brand jumping on the EV bandwagon. Chevron, Shell, and ExxonMobil have all begun to shift focus toward supplying power to electric cars.
Jerry
, your car ownership
super app
, took a closer look at the changing industry.

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. 
But since then, the company’s commitment to go green has been complicated, to say the least. BP vocally lobbied against eco-friendly policies in the U.S. until 2020, and according to
HuffPost
, they secretly continue to do so despite their pledge to be
carbon neutral
by 2050.

Other ‘Big Oil’ environmental track records

Like BP, many of the big names in gasoline offer
EV chargers
at 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
Guardian
.
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 prices
could 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.
No matter what energy source your car uses, you can save money by shopping for
car insurance
with Jerry. A licensed broker that offers end-to-end support, the Jerry app gathers affordable quotes, helps you switch plans, and can even help you cancel your old policy. 
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