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TotalEnergies wins tender for Belgian wind-powered EV network

02 September 2021 Cristina Brooks

Belgium's second largest city has tapped TotalEnergies to scale up and provide the power for its electric vehicle (EV) charging point network, aligning with the major's net-zero aim.

TotalEnergies will expand Antwerp's EV charging network with an as-yet unannounced number of new EV charging points by 2024. It will also supply the electricity powering them, including supplies from offshore wind farms.

The French major already runs EV charging spots in Belgium, operating a network in the Brussels-Capital Region called Charge.Brussels as well as EV charging points at its own service stations.

The agreement covers operation of the network through 2038. "In Belgium, as in other markets where we are expanding into electric mobility, we are committed to providing a user experience and electric charging services that meet our customer's expectations," said Alexis Vovk, president of marketing and services at TotalEnergies.

TotalEnergies' EV charging network deal will speed its progress on the path to becoming a "broad energy company," Vovk said.

Targeting net-zero

In TotalEnergies' net-zero strategy, originally published in September 2020 and later revised, the company set a Scope 3 target that will mean it must decarbonize products sold to customers. This aligns with a plan to operate more than 150,000 EV charging points and 35 GW of renewable energy by 2025.

The company's portfolio of installed or planned EV charging points includes networks in Amsterdam (22,000), Paris (2,300), London (1,700), and Singapore (1,500). In the Netherlands, TotalEnergies won a contract to install 20,000 charging points in 2020.

The Netherlands is in the midst of an EV charging boom, as the EU member state with the most territory covered by EV charging points, followed by France and Germany, IHS Markit data shows.

One of TotalEnergies' regional EV market rivals, Shell, hopes to grow its EV charging network to around 500,000 by 2025, according to its February transition plan. Shell operates more than 60,000 charging points currently, compared with TotalEnergies' 27,500.

The UK last year said it would ban sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles in 2035, a move recently copied by the EU as a whole.

The UK is a battleground for oil majors with EV ambitions. Shell is targeting installing 50,000 on-street EV charging points in the UK over the next four years, while TotalEnergies acquired a large EV charging network in London in 2020. TotalEnergies is due to power that network with self-supplied guaranteed renewable energy, it said.

TotalEnergies also agreed to acquire Singapore's dominant EV charging network Blue Charge last month and in May it bought a French provider of hydrogen-powered taxis under the Hype brand, alongside a network of hydrogen filling stations.

Renewable energy PPAs

But in Belgium, TotalEnergies' aims extend beyond charging points to power purchase agreements (PPAs), having last week agreed to supply power from an unnamed offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea to industrial gas producer Air Liquide.

The French company's recent earnings report reveals it has installed 8.3 GW of renewables capacity, mostly solar in India, and no offshore wind.

However, it has 28 GW capacity of renewables under development, including 4.4 GW of offshore wind in Europe — for example offshore wind leases won through an expensive February UK lease auction. Bloomberg reported it also is considering the purchase of a 20% stake in the third phase of the Dogger Bank wind project off England's North Sea coast.

Posted 02 September 2021 by Cristina Brooks, Senior Journalist, Climate & Sustainability, IHS Markit

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