vw bp charging network

BP and VW announce roll-out of EV fast-charging network across Europe

Image credit: reuters

Volkswagen (VW) and BP have announced plans to roll out 8,000 chargers for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe over the next two years.

The plan will use VW’s 150kW Flexpole charging units, which each feature two charge points and have an integrated battery storage system. The battery allows the fast chargers to quickly top up EVs without the need for a high-powered grid connection.

As the Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low-voltage grid, they do not require a dedicated substation, which comes with costly construction work and lengthy installation times.

BP said they were capable of delivering enough energy in as little as 10 minutes to drive up to 160km, depending on the model of electric vehicle.

The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at BP’s Aral retail sites in Germany and BP retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.

Bernard Looney, BP’s chief executive officer, said: “EV charging is one of the key engines driving BP’s transformation to an integrated energy company. That’s why we’re so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world’s leading car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge.”

A study recently criticised BP’s discourse around its attempts to move towards a more climate-friendly business model. It found that while the company’s rhetoric implied it was taking a greener approach, its business actions did not reflect that.

In February, the firm posted its best profits in eight years, driven by the soaring price of gas and oil, while dismissing rising calls for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies to help UK households cope with the surge in prices.

Herbert Diess, VW’s chief executive officer, said: “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Today we have the broadest offer of electric cars in the market and sold more EVs in the region than any other carmaker last year.

“Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral. The decarbonisation of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with BP to accelerate the roll-out of the fast-charging network across Europe.”

The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles as well as into VW’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. But any EV driver will be able to use the new chargers as part of the BP pulse and Aral pulse network.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will speak to BP executives today and urge them to commit more money to the North Sea and offshore wind projects in return for government support for renewables and drilling projects.

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