Electric car operators are now able to charge up at BP stations. 

The oil major unveiled its first two ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) chargers at UK retail stations last week. The initiative highlights BP’s advantage over smaller companies in integrating its massive, fossil-fuel infrastructure with recently acquired renewable technology. 

BP acquired Chargemaster, the UK’s leading provider of electric charging points, last year, and the new entity BP Chargemaster now has over 7000 charging points

BP, which has the largest network of gas stations in the U.K., is planning to integrate the charging application at its more than 1,200 service stations across the country.

These are the first retail chargers in a planned U.K. rollout of 400 chargers at BP sites by the end of 2021, with the network growing as new ultra-fast EV models arrive. 

With this move, BP is aiming to become the fuel provider of choice, whether drivers need electric charging or liquid fuels. 

It will likely face increasing competition. Last year, France-based, energy giant Total acquired French EV technology provider G2mobility. Total also has a JV in the U.S. with Clean Energy Fuels for the supply of natural gas-fueled vehicles. In addition, Norway’s Equinor and Italian oil company ENI, among others, have also made sizeable investments in the space. 

BP installed the new 150kW ultra-fast charging units at its BPCranford retail station near Heathrow airport, west of London. The station sits near a number of major roadways.

Electric car drivers can expect to wait 10-12 minutes to charge up at BP’s stations Drivers of gas-powered vehicles spend an average of about seven minutes at retail stations. 

  • The U.S. has about 21,000 charging points, the most of any country. German has about 12,000, the second most. 
  • BP’s purchase of Chargemaster and other deals show traditional energy companies’  accelerating interest in M&A in the renewables space. 
  • Karma’s Takeaway: BP’s installation of two ultra-fast vehicle chargers at retail stations highlights the energy giant’s aim to become a multi-faceted fuel provider and may prompt similar efforts among major competitors.