Total chief executive drives an electric car, but only on weekends

FILE PHOTO: Patrick Pouyanne, chief executive of Total, attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

STAVANGER, Norway (Reuters) - The chief executive of French oil and gas giant Total said on Monday that he and his wife drive an electric car - but when it comes to business, he relies on fossil fuels.

“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,” Patrick Pouyanne told an oil conference.

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

When Total took over upstart utility Direct Energie in April, it said the deal was part of its strategy to grow its low-carbon power generating assets to 20 percent of total assets by 2035 from 5 percent today. These include solar, wind and other renewables assets.

Speaking at an oil conference in Norway, Pouyanne said the chief executive of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, Yngve Slyngstad, had encouraged him to make the most of the “magic of electricity”.

The fund owns 1.79 percent of Total.

Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; editing by David Evans