In response to a question from an audience member at the Powering Progress Together event in London, Mr Van Beurden reportedly said that while “everyone was going to have to move quickly, the UK ought to move more quickly than most” and that it was “sensible” that the government move the 2040 target forward.
Mr Van Beurden was speaking at the event on the eve of the company’s Shell Eco Marathon to outline his firm’s commitment to a “cleaner future, transport and beyond”.
Dustin Benton, policy director at Green Alliance UK and present at the speech, said: “Ben van Beurden said the UK should bring the 2040 ban forward.
“He didn’t actually specify to when the ban should be moved forward to, I would say 2030 of course.”
Erik Fairbairn, CEO of UK electric vehicle chargepoint supplier, added:“The UK’s ambition to be a global leader in mobility is compromised by weak targets for phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles.
“The current target of phasing out petrol and diesel by 2040 is neither far-reaching nor inspiring enough. And if recent reports are to be believed, these already weak goals are set to be watered down even further as part of the long awaited Road to Zero strategy.
“A ban by 2030 looks entirely feasible – it isn’t a crazy unachievable target. It’s a hard target, but it can be done. Just look at how batteries are improving while costs are plummeting (and hence EV range at a given price point). Battery costs are decreasing at about 19% every year.”