Petrol stations will be taking a dangerous risk if they don’t plan for the future of electric vehicles.
Hyundai manager of future mobility and a government relations Scott Nargar has been sharing this message across the industry, adding that inaction will also put convenience stores at risk.
Following a trip to South Korea in late 2016, Mr Nargar said it became apparent that more thought needed to be taken regarding the “fuels of the future”.
“We got to drive the previous generation fuel cell cars and drive electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles and we said ‘what’s the future of an oil company site in Australia if the industry isn’t planning right now for the transport fuels of the future. Our customers of the future won’t come in looking for petrol to put in the vehicle, they’re going to want electricity or they’re going to want hydrogen. If you want to keep selling milk, bread and chocolates you need to start thinking about selling the fuels of the future across the forecourt’,” Mr Nargar said.
“So I had some pretty depressed oil company reps who sat there and stared at me … it was a pretty quiet flight home.
“At the moment EV charging technology is cheaper to produce and to roll out. EVs are easy but I think in the long term we need to look at both areas.
“People keep asking me ‘what is going to be the winner: fuel cells or electric vehicles’? Really the winner is going to be zero-emission technology.
“Let’s not pick a winner now; the market is going to determine that … let’s embrace and actually start getting a bit of infrastructure on the ground in Australia and try catching up to what’s happening in Europe and North America. We’re about 10 years behind in both cases.
“We’re the best example in the world of when there’s no direct engagement and involvement by the government, there’s no infrastructure investment…we’re a great example of how a market basically fails.”