“We’re negotiating the curve.” Philippe Montantême deliberately chose the vocabulary of automobile racing to share his vision of tomorrow’s mobility, because it’s a fast-moving topic that requires a steady gaze far down the road. In this interview, the Senior Vice President, Strategy, Marketing & Research in Marketing & Services tells us more about trends in mobility.
It seems like changes in mobility are coming faster and faster. What’s your take on that?
For more than 50 years we’ve had mobility that’s heavily dependent on oil. Some 90% of our transportation is oil-fueled because nothing has been able to beat gasoline or diesel in terms of energy density. But now, prompted by climate awareness, we’re heading into a curve that will take us from a single source of energy to an array of solutions, starting with electricity and natural gas, followed by hydrogen – not to mention technological progress in other areas, particularly data-related.
How is Total positioned in relation to these changes?
We decided to keep step with these changes by positioning Total as an energy supplier, rather than as an oil company. In this way, we're preparing future growth drivers so we'll be able to provide the same quality of service to customers even as their needs change. But to prepare for tomorrow’s mobility and negotiate the curve successfully, we need to work in a consistent and uniform way with all the other players in the ecosystem, including carmakers, automotive equipment manufacturers, government agencies, municipalities, start-ups and transporters. That’s one of the reasons we’re going to Movin’On — to meet with all these partners.
What message will you be delivering at Movin’On?
For everyone involved in mobility, the objective is to decarbonize transportation. To do so, we need to make sure we’ve got a virtuous circle going for reducing CO2 emissions. There isn’t a silver bullet, but rather a variety of solutions. Instead of putting all of our energy into looking for that one disruptive technology like electric vehicles, it will be much more effective to leverage all our efforts to improve existing technologies and the energy efficiency of vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Will that change our relationship with our customers?
To answer that, let me give you an example. People’s attitudes are changing, with the focus gradually shifting from ownership to use. Instead of owning cars, tomorrow’s consumers will use vehicles on an as-needed basis, turning to car rental, car sharing or other solutions. As a result, vehicles will be more closely tailored to each type of need and they’ll be managed in fleets. Total is very well positioned to support this trend, notably with our expertise in fuel cards for B2B customers, for whom we already offer customized fleet optimization services.
What about electricity?
We want to facilitate the movement by ensuring that the deployment of electric vehicles isn't hampered by inadequate access to charging stations. We’re setting up a charging network with stations every 150 kilometers in Western Europe. That said, the majority of charging will be taking place at home or the workplace. We want to be able to serve that market, and Total Spring is the perfect tool. We intend to make our customers' lives easier with a consistent, efficient and high-quality service and a One Total approach.
MOBILITY FACTS AND FIGURES
- 90% of transportation is powered by oil and 40 to 50% of the world's oil is used in transportation.
- There are 3 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road worldwide for 1 billion automobiles.
- EVs are forecast to account for 20 to 30% of light vehicles on the road worldwide (high estimate).
- Natural gas-powered trucks and electric trucks for last-mile deliveries should account for more than 10% of the global fleet.