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ExxonMobil looking at electric vehicle charging

A recent report from the Atlantic Council states that ExxonMobil, as well as other big oil companies, is looking into incorporating charging for electric vehicles (EVs) into its business.

The think tank’s report expresses that some oil majors are examining the case for establishing charging stations where the drivers of EVs can stop and top up their vehicles batteries. According to the report:

“[This] appears to be part of a hedging strategy to capture an emerging, albeit perceived to be marginal, market segment.”

ExxonMobil, which also makes lubricants for Mobil distributors, has long generally been the least optimistic of the oil majors about the uptake of EVs, but the development could indicate a cultural shift is taking place.

Two prominent limitations of EVs are currently their limited range and the lack of widespread charging infrastructure. A typical petrol- or diesel-fuelled car can easily travel hundreds of miles on a full tank. While the rather pricey Tesla Model S 100D can rival traditional cars’ range on a single charge, many cheaper models have ranges much lower than a hundred miles. What’s more, while traditional cars are easily refuelled at the numerous petrol stations, EVs require special charging stations.

Despite these drawbacks, the shift to EVs seems inevitable, with Volkswagen having already announced its intention to ultimately abandon the internal-combustion engine. While EVs can easily manage relatively short commutes between charges at home, there may be a market in future for allowing them to charge up during longer journeys.

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