BP has bought the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network, in the latest sign major oil producers to eliminate the threat that low-carbon cars is their main business.
The acquisition of the Chargemaster, which has more than 6,500 charging points across the country, will begin to result in the deployment of charging station 1200 BP petrol stations in the next year.
Off-peak charging is vital for electric vehicle power supply, experts say
The transaction is worth £130m and was seen as an important step on the road to cleaner cars in the UK. There are more than 140,000 electric vehicles on the roads in the UK, most of which are Plug-in hybrid vehicles that can run for a short distance on battery before switching to gasoline or diesel fuel.
BP has estimated the number of electric cars hit 12m by 2040, although some analysts, this figure is much higher.
Tufan Erginbilgic, Executive Director of downstream division of BP, which includes refineries and petrol stations, said: “in fact, BP is the leading energy supplier for low-carbon vehicles in the UK. I would like to stress that the world and the UK needs to be ultra-fast charging for electric vehicles to build.”
Schedule electric car sales
He denied the deal was a defensive move, stating that the company had a good return in the development of electric cars is comparable to other parts of your business. “I don’t think that’s defensive at all,” he said.
Said Erginbilgic BP more infrastructure for electric cars in the UK than any other market, although the company is also piloting charger in Germany at the end of this year.
The company said the rebadged BP Chargemaster support ultra-fast charging 150KW, which can add about 450-600 miles per hour of charging. This will mean cars such as Jaguar’s new I-PACE can add about 100 miles in 10 minutes.
Charging the car at home typically takes about six to 12 hours, if the family has a streamline charging point.
Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, said that the company is finally strong enough financially, after the accident, the deepwater Horizon disaster and oil prices decline to begin to move into “green” energy.
£130m paid for Chargemaster is part of a $500 million (£382m) British oil company has pledged to spend on low carbon activities and the recent return of the solar power.
However, it is still a small piece of the total $15-16 billion, which the company will spend this year.
Subscribe for daily business today email or follow the business Guardian on Twitter @BusinessDesk
The invasion of the infrastructure of electric vehicles is much more than BP in January, when it invested $5 million in us firm technology Freewire. The Anglo-Dutch rival shell, BP last year made his first steps into the market, setting the charger at the gas station and the purchase of Dutch firm the new movements that 30 000 charging points in Europe.
Asked if the company can be expected to make further steps to market the electric car, Erginbilgic said, “Yes, but not for investment, they should be in line with our strategy. I don’t believe that the fastest man in this space will be successful.”
Albert Cheung, an analyst at Bloomberg new energy Finance, said: “major oil companies like BP are faced with the dual threat from electric vehicles. They hit the demand for oil, but they also face declining customer traffic at their petrol stations. BP understanding of the threats and sees the opportunity to be a part of the industry EV”.
BNEF expects that more than half of the UK cars to be electric power by 2040.