Oil majors to be ‘more aggressive’ in electric car market race, report claims

Electric cars are on the rise.
Markings on the road indicate a parking area for electric vehicles (EV) to use charging stations in London, U.K., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The U.K. government plans to invest more than 800 million pounds ($1 billion) in new driverless and zero-emission vehicle technology as it seeks to boost its economy while leaving the European Union. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Oil and gas majors are likely to be “more aggressive” in the race to win the battle for electric vehicle (EV) market supremacy, according to a new report.

A new report by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings claims that while utility companies have set strong targets in the EV market, “so have oil majors”.

The study adds that utility firms will face stiff competition from big European oil firms who will employ more “aggressive strategies”.

S&P said European oil majors have “strong arguments” for involvement in the sector.

The report points to oil firms’ “solid experience in retail activities” and, following acquisitions, increasingly in power supply.

In December, energy giant Shell has announced it was throwing its weight behind renewable energy in Scotland with the introduction of three electric charge points at locations around the country.

Charging docks will be placed at service stations in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dunblane in a move which rolls out an already well established initiative, Shell Recharge, north of the border following the project’s success in England.

The new report adds that big companies also have extensive experience of managing long-term projects and have the financial means to meet the requirements of the sector.

It also claims changes in the market will move quickly, as the rollout of charging stations grows “quickly” leading up to 2020.

The report adds: “European oil majors have also accelerated their investments in electric vehicles, with a changed mindset.

“They initially invested to better understand the energy transition. Now they have a stronger need to protect and grow shareholder value”.