On the heels of this year’s Movin’On summit, a Total-partnered event that brings together stakeholders from across the sustainable mobility industry, Pierre Clasquin, Vice President, EV Charge Division at Total, discussed the Group’s strategy to become a major player in the field.
What strengths can Total leverage to conquer the electric charge market?
Pierre Clasquin/ Our network of service stations and our B2B1 client base are a real advantage for Total compared with our power utility competitors. At the same time, e-mobility is ushering in an entirely new distribution model. Our customers will no longer “fill their tanks” solely at our service stations. Motorists will recharged their vehicles based on the possibilities available to them over a given journey and how long they will be parked in the same place. We estimate that 40% of recharging will be done at home, 40% at work, 15% on public roads, and 5% at service stations. We therefore need to offer solutions that are in line with these new practices, in order to meet the needs of our various customers, be they businesses or individuals.
How is Total EV Charge establishing a position on these various “hotspots”?
P.C./ First, we are carving out a place in cities. At the start of the year, we won the largest public charging contract for electric vehicles in Europe, which will see the Group install and operate up to 20,000 new public charge points in the Netherlands. It’s an achievement we can be proud of, and I’d like to say a big thank you to all the contributing teams. Beyond the general public but still in urban areas, we are addressing the specific needs of corporate vehicle fleets by rolling out a plan to install 200 stations in large towns and cities in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands by 2023. Lastly, outside cities, we intend to open high-power charge points at 300 service stations along Western Europe’s main motorways by 2022 – that’s one every 150 kilometers. Our ambition is to operate 150,000 charge points by 2025, ten times more than we do today.
The Group has made the decision to roll out its electric charge points primarily in France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg initially. Why are we targeting these countries?
P.C./ We assess investment opportunities based on two criteria: First, growth potential and market dynamics. Second, our presence in other businesses in the country. The European Commission has set ambitious, binding objectives for automakers, which are required to drastically reduce emissions from new vehicles sold in Europe as of this year, or risk paying heavy fines. With electric vehicles currently offering the best alternative to internal combustion engine vehicles – or the only alternative, depending on who you speak to – we are going to see hundreds of new models arrive on the European market. What’s more, we enjoy a strong position in Western Europe through our network of service stations and our presence in power distribution. So it’s the right time and the right place to get things started.
Total EV Charge aside, how is the Group as a whole helping to develop this business?
P.C./ The EV Charge business line designs charging solutions and works in close collaboration with country sales and marketing affiliates to position the Group on new markets. But the Gas, Renewables & Power business segment also has a role to play by supplying the electricity we need. In addition, developing electric energy storage solutions is essential for the success of e-mobility (see box), which is where Saft’s expertise comes in. Lastly, within the Group itself, we have now started fitting out our sites’ parking lots with charge points. Because when it comes to solutions developed by its teams, Total needs to be its own best customer.
1 B2B refers to all business activities that target corporate clients.