French oil company, Total, has committed to a network of electric vehicle charging stations across France.

HOT ON THE heels of General Motors and Honda announcing they were going into business together to build hydrogen fuel cell systems, French oil and gas company, Total, was announcing it would add electric vehicle charging stations to its petrol stations in France.

All up, the company says it is targeting around 300 petrol stations to be upgraded with electric vehicle charging stations. And, while no mention was made of the recent initiative announced by Ford, BMW, and the VW Group to launch an electric vehicle charging network, the decision by Total must surely be a part of that plan.

Reuters reported the announcement by Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne who spoke with journalists at the recent SER renewable energy conference in Paris, “”We plan to do it. We are thinking of how to equip our stations with electric charging points”.

Pouyanne said the company was looking at installing the charging points mostly outside city centers and that it was already talking to car makers such as PSA. You would imagine it must also be talking to the other brands who’ve committed to the roll-out of an electric vehicle charging network.

“Our plan consists of looking at how to create a charging point network around French highways to have charging points every 150 or 160 km (100 miles),” he said, adding that there was demand from clients.

“We are preparing the investment for it,” Pouyanne said.

Question: Does the auto industry seem confused, with some brands investing heavily in fuel cell systems, and others, specifically those in Europe, pushing for electric vehicle charging networks?


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