Volkswagen partners with BP to create ultra-fast EV charging network in Europe
German automaker Volkswagen Group has confirmed that it has signed a strategic deal with British multinational oil & gas giant BP Plc to create a network of ultra-fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. Volkswagen and BP have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and now the two partners are working on details that are expected to be finalized and announced by the next month. However, their general plan is to create a wide-ranging ultra-fast EV charging network by installing 150-350 kW DC fast chargers at BP retail sites in Europe.
As per BP’s claims, approximately 90 per cent of people in the United Kingdom and Germany live within a 20-minute drive of a BP or Aral site. It may be noted here that BP operates under the brand name of Aral in Germany.
Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said, “Ultra-fast charging is the key enabler for e-mobility and therefore a main pillar for Volkswagen´s transformation. Together with strong partners like BP we take this important matter into our hands and will build up to 18,000 new chargers in Europe. That is about 1/3 of the estimated ultra-fast charging demand in 2025.”
The two companies intend to deploy up to 18,000 new ultra-fast chargers in Europe. But, high cost of infrastructure investments remains a matter of concern, particularly for BP. The British oil & gas giant is expected to be supported by the auto giant by ensuring integration of the BP's charging network into vehicles of all of its brands for trouble-free navigation and payments (Plug&Charge).
However, the BP Pulse charging network and Aral Pulse charging network will remain open to all EVs, including vehicles from brands other than Volkswagen.
The strategic deal is part of BP’s goal to install more than 70,000 EV charging points of various types worldwide by the end of current decade (2030). BP, which is already the most used EV charging network in the United Kingdom, aims to have around 250 and 500 ultrafast chargers operating at its retail sites in the UK and Germany, respectively, by the end of this year.
The availability of ultra-fast charging network is expected to be of great help in accelerating the pace of transition from conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles to EVs as EV owners will be able to access close by, trustworthy, quality charging options.