Total SA won a contract to install and operate as many as 20,000 new public charging points for electric vehicles in the Netherlands as the country presses ahead with policies to fight global warming and pollution.
The French oil and gas giant is growing its electric mobility business as part of its foray into cleaner fuels and power generation as European governments introduce more stringent rules on car emissions, which aims to curb demand for gasoline and diesel sold by Total and its rivals.
The contract for the new charging network -- set to be Europe’s largest -- will span the three provinces of North-Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht and service 3.2 million people, the French company said in a statement Wednesday.
The move is a “significant and unprecedented step towards sustainable mobility,” Total head of marketing and services Alexis Vovk said in the statement. And is in line with the company’s ambition to operate 150,000 charging points in Europe by 2025 to “become a major player in the electricity mobility business.”
Under the contract signed with Metropolitan Region Amsterdam Electric, Total, which already operates more than 4,500 charging points in the region, pledged to use only renewable power to supply the new network, and will study new solar power production opportunities in the area.
The focus on EVs is only going to increase, according to the boss of one of Europe’s biggest electricity firms. “I am sure there is going to be a boom of electric vehicles. Not only because of the restrictions in towns, but as well because it’s more convenient,” Iberdrola SA Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Galan said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “So it’s cheaper to use, and more convenient.” © 2020 Bloomberg L.P.