Ampol boss sure of clean transition

08/07/2022 - 12:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Electric car chargers are just the start for Ampol, with the company's top boss confident the petrol retailer has what it takes to become an energy retailer in the coming decades.

Ampol boss sure of clean transition
Ampol's new EV charging station is available for use at its Belmont site.

Electric car chargers are just the start for Ampol, with the company's top boss confident the petrol retailer has what it takes to become an energy retailer in the coming decades.

Ampol launched its AmpCharge EV charging brand late last month with its Belmont site in Western Australia to be home to the technology in August.

That came as Australia’s new federal government committed to a 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 ahead of achieving net zero by 2050.

Most countries have now committed to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of this century, with internal combustion engine vehicles likely to fall by the wayside in favour of electric vehicles as a result.

Australia imports most of its passenger vehicles from South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, all of which have committed to phasing out the manufacturing and sale of ICE vehicles by 2040 at the latest.

Speaking to Business News, though, managing director Matt Halliday was confident the transition would come before then as passenger EVs become price competitive.

“If you look at what the dates are and what's possible for the world to produce enough electric vehicles to fully transition, it's not going to be the ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle manufacturing ban dates, it's going to be the economics that drive it,” he told Business News.

“The economics for an EV versus an ICE vehicle are going to actually come well ahead of the ban dates.”

Mr Halliday’s comments come as WA policymakers have puzzled over how to integrate demand for EV charging, which is expected to be highest at night, into electricity grids which will in coming decades become more reliant on solar, wind and hydro supply.

The state government’s distributed energy roadmap gives prominence to this issue while noting the opportunity for EVs to act as batteries within a decentralised network.

Ampol has already formed a team in anticipation of this and applied to the national regulator to become an energy retailer, with Mr Halliday flagging opportunities for the business amid the clean energy transition.

“That means not just looking at the charging space, but how we offer a broader set of energy offers to our customers in the future,” he said.

“The way I think about our business is, we're a downstream distributor and marketer of fuels and convenience today.

“We don't extract resources, we are a distributor and a marketer, and we'll be distributing and marketing a broader form of energies in the future that will be electricity on the retail side … and on the light passenger vehicle side, and into the home.

“And it will be on the heavy side, hydrogen, biofuels, renewable diesel on the heavier, hard to abate areas in terms of supply.

“It’s about procuring fuel and then having that sold onto customers.”

Ampol previously partook in the federal government’s $72 million future fuels fund initiative, with WA receiving 33 of 402 EV charging stations opened as part of the program.

Shares in Ampol closed trade yesterday at $33.21.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options