RE international

CEO of Europe’s biggest oil firm, Shell, switches to electric car in September

Ben Van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, will have his next car – a plug-in Mercedes-Benz S500e delivered to him in September.

But before Van Beurden’s electric car gets delivered to him, reports have stated that Shell’s Chief Financial Officer, Jessica Uhl, already drives a BMW i3 electric car, indicating that internal combustion engines may rule over the roads for not too long any more.

Shell committed $54 billion to takeover BG Group Ltd in a business move that underpins global views that demand for natural gas will rise as the world shifts to cleaner-burning fuels.

In a recent interview, Van Beurden, however told Bloomberg that the next thing he’ll buy was a car that does not depend on either oil or gas to run.

Bloomberg also stated that his switch from a diesel car to a plug-in Mercedes-Benz S500e in September was confirmed by a company spokesman.

“The whole move to electrify the economy, electrify mobility in places like northwest Europe, in the U.S., even in China, is a good thing,” said Van Beurden, to Bloomberg TV.

He added: “We need to be at a much higher degree of electric vehicle penetration – or hydrogen vehicles or gas vehicles – if we want to stay within the 2-degrees Celsius outcome.”

Coming at a time Britain announced a plan to ban sales of diesel and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, in line with similar announcements made by some growing economies to meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Carmaker Volvo AB, also said in July that it will manufacture only electric or hybrid vehicles from 2019 onwards.

Equally, Shell announced plans to spend about $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars gains a healthy momentum.

It said it sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel cells and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight.

“We have to continue to reinvent,” Van Beurden explained.

Reports have also stated that supported by changes in automotive technology and fight against climate change, the once boundless appetite for crude oil are beginning to slow down.

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