On June 28, British oil giant BP announced it would acquire Chargemaster, the largest electric car charging company in the UK. The move is the latest in a recent string of deals by oil companies moving into the electric space.
BP, which has not disclosed the purchase price, said it would begin rolling out charging stations at its 1,200 filling stations. The deal will see Chargemaster be rebranded BP Chargemaster. The charging company also has extensive connections in Europe, as it provides over 50,000 charging points across the continent.
As electric cars become an increasing presence on roads, the demand for charging stations is set to increase dramatically. BP estimates that by 2040 there will be 12 million electric cars in the UK.
In the statement, Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive of BP Downstream, said: “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 low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.”
Chargemaster, which runs POLAR, the largest public charging network in the UK, has over 6,500 charging stations and boasts 40,000 customers that can pay either on a pay-as-you go basis or on a monthly subscription of just over $10 for unlimited access.
BP is not the first major oil company to venture into charging networks for electric vehicles. In October, rival Shell bought one of the largest charging networks in Europe, NewMotion. Indeed, this is also not the first sizeable investment BP has made into electric vehicle charging. In January the company invested $5m in FreeWire, a US-based charging network.