With over 6,500 charging points across the country, the purchase of Chargemaster highlights the need for oil companies to embrace the future of mobility, with manufacturers rushing to get EVs ready for sale. Alongside installations on streets and service stations, the business also designs, builds, sells and maintains EV charging units for a wide range of locations, including for home charging.
Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP Downstream, said: ‘Bringing together the UK’s leading fuel retailer and its largest charging company, BP Chargemaster will deliver a truly differentiated offer for the country’s growing number of electric vehicle owners.
‘At BP we believe that fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles. Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s complementary expertise, experience and assets is an important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites across the UK and to BP becoming the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.’
David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, added: ‘The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK. I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP, which will help us maintain our market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network to support the large range of exciting new electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next couple of years.’
The number of EVs on the road is anticipated to increase rapidly in coming decades. By 2040 BP estimates that there will be 12 million EVs on UK roads, up from around 135,000 in 2017.
The oil company expects to roll out new BP Chargemaster chargers on all of its UK forecourts over the next twelve months. A statement from the company reads: ‘BP believes that to accelerate the adoption of EVs, customers will require convenient access to fast and ultra-fast charging. BP’s UK retail network is well positioned to provide this access with over 1,200 service stations across the country. A key priority for BP Chargemaster will be the rollout of ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150kW rapid chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes.’
In May, BP said it would invest $20 million (€17.1 million) in StoreDot, a developer of ultrafast charging for batteries which could be key for mass adoption of EVs.
Using this technology, StoreDot is also developing a new type of electric-car battery that will aim to achieve a charging experience that is comparable to the time spent to refuel a traditional car. StoreDot currently expects first sales of its flash batteries for mobile devices as early as 2019, and BP’s investment will help them come to vehicles.