When the world’s second biggest “Big Oil” company, Royal Dutch Shell, announced the purchase of German battery maker Sonnen last month, the talk from inside the company was that Shell is preparing for a significant and rapid shift to electric – perhaps within a decade.
Such forecasts, including by those like Stanford University futurist Tony Seba, are generally downplayed, by incumbents whose business models will be destroyed by the scale and speed of such a transition, by the nay-sayers still clinging to last century technologies, and by the regulators and policy makers who know they have already been left behind.
But Shell has all but confirmed that this scenario is exactly what they are planning for. By the early 2030s, it says, it expects to be the biggest power company in the world, as just about everything – including transport and heating – turns electric.
And they will be careful who they seek such services from.