Oil Exec Admits To Driving Electric Car, But Only On Weekends


Chief executive officer at oil and gas giant Total drives an electric car as his private vehicle.

Total S.A. is a French international oil and gas refining company that is touted as the 4th largest in the world. However, the company also considers itself a major player in low-carbon emissions. While this may seem far-fetched, Total recently acquired startup utility Direct Energie as part of its continuing efforts to grow low-carbon generating assets. Currently, Total’s wind, solar, and renewable assets account for five percent of its business, however, the goal is to drive that to 20 percent by 2035.

In addition, Total S.A.’s lead energy analyst, Joel Couse, is more bullish than most others in the industry in regards to EV adoption predictions. He believes that electric vehicles will make up about 15 to 30 percent of the global new vehicle market by 2030.

So, apparently, all this means that it’s okay to drive an electric car if you’re an oil exec, as long as you don’t do it during business hours or for company-related work. It may also mean that electric cars are beginning to become more appealing.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne recently admitted at an oil conference in Norway that he and his wife own an electric car manufactured by Renault. The car is all-electric, meaning it has no gas engine. He shared that they use the car every weekend, but not to travel long distances. He has a gas-powered company car for work use and trips.

It’s a 100 percent e-car. It’s a nice Renault electric car. And I’m driving it every weekend. It’s my private car.

Of course I have my company car which is internal combustion. To make long distances I don’t use an electric car.

Pouyanne also revealed that Yngve Slyngstad — the CEO of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which owns a mere 1.79-percent stake in Total — told him to “make the most of the ‘magic of electricity'”.

Source: Reuters

Categories: General, Renault

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20 Comments on "Oil Exec Admits To Driving Electric Car, But Only On Weekends"

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That is awesome… Even the oil execs are figuring it out…

It’s entirely possible that there are other reasons why he doesn’t drive his electric to work that aren’t motivated by corporate politics– if he has something like a Zoe or Leaf he might be range-limited.

In this day and age I can’t see them complaining too much about what car he drives to work– he’s a CEO, after all.

The CEO of Total could purchase an electric car with a longer range if that range was important to him.

“…CEO Patrick Pouyanne recently admitted at an oil conference in Norway that he and his wife own an electric car manufactured by Renault…”

So given the region it is probably a Zoe….though for someone of his rank, I am kinda surprised he owns/drives a lowly Zoe on the weekends…

I am assuming he is French and he works for a French company. Perhaps he is patriotic and wants to support French industry and workers. What other French made BEV could he buy that is better?

If that is the case, I suppose the question would be why did he decide on getting an EV? Why would he decide a Zoe over lets say Renault Twingo, Clio or Peugeot 208? Or some other French brand that has a small luxury car in its portfolio?

Have you driven an electric car? They’re fun to drive. They offer an experience a gas car cannot. In addition, even if you are wealthy and successful, doesn’t mean you don’t like saving money and not going to the gas station.

I can’t understand why it’s a problem to own a Zoe. I drove one and it’s a nice car. Probably the car is drving for its wife the rest of the week, in the weekend is a practic and friendly to use car without restrictions to go or park anywhere and with a good range.

Yes, but did he admit to inhaling?


This is news? Did you know Elon Musk rides in gasoline powered airplanes, and his rockets also use fuel?

So you don’t think it would be news if Elon Musk drove around in a Cadillac? Be serious.

The difference here is Elon is a CEO of a car company. Look at what the CEOs of GM drive and I imagine it is of the same brand they work for. A CEO of an Oil company doesn’t have to drive a gas car, oil is used for a lot of things. Transportation sector makes up like 64% of oil use, and within that, autos make up about 30-40% of that, so honestly they are maybe the largest single factor, but still only around 20-25% of oil use.

If you look at Couse’s history, he understands that oil will flatten or decline in demand by around 2030 and those oil companies are diversifying accordingly.

Also, Patrick Pouyanne is saying that they are concentrating on being a gas and oil company (instead of oil and gas), emphasizing the gas first. Natural gas will be the largest electric car fuel for quite some time.

That’s not really true in most parts of the world. There are only a few places that use natural gas as a main power source. Elsewhere, it’s only used for peaker plants — and that too will be declining fast in the near future, thanks to the rising popularity of batteries.

I doubt Elon does much flying in small piston powered gasoline fueled aircraft. Jets and turboprops use kerosene. SpaceX rockets use kerosene as well, but a higher grade than jet fuel.

Their future rockets will use methane…

I would imagine successful CEOs of most drug cartels would refrain from indulging in their products as well.

Cool he use an EV for weekends, but I really don’t understand why a CEO of a company can’t demand his own company car is at least a PHEV? Makes him sound indecisive. But heck, baby steps are much better than no steps at all, so I can’t be too critical!

This is not necessarily surprising, coming from Total. They are majority owners in SunPower, which makes the most robust and most efficient solar panels on the planet.