WITH ‘range anxiety’ being the number one reason for consumers shying away from purchasing electric vehicles, a plethora of companies, supported by government, have grasped the opportunity to grab some territory in what is rapidly becoming an industry in its own right. See Government Charges Into EV Public Infrastructure Upgrades.
The Volkswagen Group and bp have become the latest collaborators in this venture having signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces and build an ultra-fast EV charging network based at bp sites across the UK and Aral sites in Germany. A formal agreement is expected to be finalized during the next few months.
This would bring together two leading global players in mobility to develop a network of ultra-fast chargers at convenient locations. bp estimates approximately 90% of people in the UK and Germany live within a 20-minute drive of a bp or Aral site.
While the sites will be available to all EV customers, agreement would also make bp the Volkswagen Group’s EV charging partner, with the integration of bp’s charging network into VW Group vehicles to make finding and paying for charging fast and simple.
By working with partners, Volkswagen is intending to create a network of 18,000 new chargers in Europe- around 30 percent of the estimated ultra-fast charging demand in 2025, said Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components.
“Ultra-fast charging is the key enabler for e-mobility and therefore a main pillar for Volkswagen´s transformation.”
Ultra-fast charging units, with a power output greater than 150kW, can charge a vehicle with the appropriate battery technology for a range of around 160km in just over 10 minutes – broadly as fast as refuelling at the pump.
Electrification is at the heart of bp’s convenience and mobility strategy and the company aims to grow its network of public EV charging points by 2030 to over 70,000 worldwide. bp pulse is already the most used EV charging network in the UK and plans to have around 250 ultrafast chargers operating at bp retail sites by the end of this year. In Germany, Aral pulse is also already rolling out ultrafast charging points across its retail sites – expecting to have 500 installed by year end.
Emma Delaney, bp’s executive vice president, customers and products, said that enabling the rapid expansion of electric vehicles was core to bp’s plans to grow its convenience and mobility business, as well as supporting the company’s net zero ambition.
“Partnering with Volkswagen Group – one of the world’s great automotive companies – we intend to address a key concern for people considering buying an EV: range anxiety. Together we can provide drivers in the UK and Europe with the fast, reliable and convenient charging solutions they need to feel more confident about making the switch. By deploying ultra-fast charging, rapidly and at large scale, we can establish a leading position and help accelerate the take-up of EVs.”