Company News

4 Ways bp Is Investing in the Future of Mobility

Convenience-store retailer is prioritizing alternative fuels, EV solutions, customer experience, more
bp future of mobility
Photograph courtesy of bp

bp is investing in the future of mobility by shining a spotlight on a few areas of the business. Alternative fuels, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for larger vehicles and a better customer experience are taking center stage right now at the energy company.

  • BP America Inc./Thorntons is No. 7 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count.TravelCenters of America is No. 29.

The Chicago-based convenience-store retailer acquired TravelCenters of America for $1.3 billion in 2023. In Europe, it introduced its electric vehicle (EV) charging business, bp pulse, in 2021.

“The investments are a massive expansion of bp’s convenience and mobility business and over time will be part of the company’s transition into an integrated energy company that delivers long-term value for shareholders—and everyday people,” according to bp.

“Our customer-obsessed mission is to provide our guests with an integrated experience, enabling them to engage with bp products and services when, where, and how they want,” said Greg Franks,senior vice president of mobility and convenience for the Americas.

With bp’s expanding footprint in the United States, the company named several strategies that position it as forward-thinking in terms of mobility. Its strategies and goals are outlined below.

1. Expanding Alternative Fuel Offerings

As a result of the TravelCenters of America purchase, bp added nearly 280 retail locations along major U.S. highway corridors. In total, its brands, ARCO/ampm, Amoco and Thorntons, have nearly 8,000 retail sites across 46 states and the District of Columbia. Collectively, the brands make up bp’s convenience and mobility business, which is one of the company’s transition growth engines, the company said.

The expanded network creates business opportunities not only for the company’s EV charging business, but also for bp’s other transition growth engine businesses—convenience, biofuels and renewable natural gas and hydrogen—to be available to consumers all at one place.

2. Investing in EV Charging Stations

In 2023, bp announced plans to invest $1 billion globally in EV charging by 2030. This includes creating a Gigahub network, a series of large, fast-charging EV charging stations, often near airports and eventually at some of bp’s retail locations.

The company aims to have more than 100,000 bp pulse charging points globally by 2030—around 90% rapid or ultra-fast.

bp is focused on growing the bp pulse business not only in the U.S., but also in the United Kingdom, China and Germany. EV charging was earnings positive in two of the four markets in 2023, and bp expects to deliver positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in its global business by 2025.

Nearly 1.2 million new EVs were sold in 2023, a 46% increase from the previous year, and many people are looking for greater availability of EV charging stations, according to bp.

The United States trails other major countries in developing a fast-charging network that can enable longer journeys and provide charging for consumers who don’t have chargers at home or at work, the company said, adding to its motivation.

3. Providing Electric Solutions for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

bp aims to offer publicly accessible charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty trucks with the help of federal and state government partners.

bp and TravelCenters of America are committed to supporting fleet customers adopting electric trucks, the company said, because the transportation sector is responsible for about 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Federal and state governments are quickly adopting regulations fundamentally intended to accelerate the green clean energy revolution. The Biden administration, for example, recently unveiled its strategy to install electric and hydrogen fuel stations along major U.S. freight routes.

The administration’s goal is to have a broad, affordable network for charging and refueling cars and trucks, with a view toward reducing emissions from the transportation sector.

More than a fifth of that comes from medium- and heavy-duty trucks that rely on petroleum-based fuels, according to bp. Under the program, about 12,000 miles of U.S. roadways would be prioritized for investment, including Interstate 80, which runs from Teaneck, New Jersey, to San Francisco.

4. Elevating the Customer Experience

EV customers tend to spend more time and money on site while their vehicles are charging, so bp aims to enhance the customer experience.

This includes investments in new store layouts, on-the-go fresh food options, premium private-brand goods and time-saving digital offers, the company said.

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