bp Expands Global Footprint of EV Stations

Company builds 1st public charging corridor for electric trucks along freight route in Germany
Tritium EV Charger
Photograph: Tritium

bp’s recent expansion of electric-vehicle charging capabilities demonstrates the oil company's goals of bringing renewable fuels to the markets it serves around the world.

The network of fast-charging EV stations on European autobahns, with a goal of  connecting Belgium’s North Sea ports with Italy’s Mediterranean city of Genoa using electronic energy, is just the latest step toward bp’s goal of 100,000 EV chargers installed worldwide by 2030. To encourage truckers to use the fast-charging stations, Aral truckstops along the route also offer hot food and showers, the company said.

And while the U.S. does not yet have a similar corridor for trucks, bp pulse is increasing its investment in EV chargers in the U.S. and abroad. EV charging is one of the key growth areas bp is focusing on—including biofuels, hydrogen, renewable energy and convenience

bp reported 22,000 EV charge points in place globally in 2022, up 65% from 2021, while electric energy sold rose 150%. The number of strategic convenience sites offering bp-branded vehicle energy increased to 2,400 in 2022 from 2,150 in 2021. 

bp sees convenience site networks as a strategy for growing its convenience gross margin by about 10% per year for the next seven years, the company said Tuesday during its fourth-quarter earnings announcements. The company reported fourth-quarter profit of $10.8 billion after adjustments, compared with a $2.2 billion loss in the year-ago period. 

With diesel trucks generating about 15% more emissions than vehicles using unleaded gasoline, going electric in trucking promises a reduced carbon footprint.

In December, the company announced it would install fast-charge points in 70 M&S convenience stores in the U.K. with a goal of reaching 900 charge points within the next two years. In October, it announced plans to install fast-charge points in Germany at 180 REWE convenience sites.

 In the U.S., bp plans to establish a Gigahub network of fast-EV charging stations for ride-hail and taxi fleets near airports and other high-traffic locations. The first of these involves a collaboration with Hertz near Los Angeles Airport, the company said.

  • bp America Inc./Thorntons is No. 7 on CSP’s2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count.  

In Germany, the first six 300kw charging locations opened in bp’s Aral retail locations in the Rhine-Alpine corridor of Germany in late January providing the capacity to charge over 20 E-trucks per charger each day. Two more locations are expected to open in the next six months, bp said.

“This is a significant moment for E-trucks in Europe and an important step in our journey towards helping to decarbonize truck transportation,” said Nigel Head, EV truck director for Europe for bp pulse. The company will glean important customer insights from the initial E-truck charging stations, which it will use as it plans the rest of its European network. The company has been emphasizing clean energy alternatives to petroleum fuel, including electric vehicle power.

With charging stations strategically located along 600 kilometers between the Rhine-Neckar area and Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, E-trucks are off to a good start as they travel the 1,300 kilometers to Genoa. How soon demand for fast charges will outpace supply only the future can reveal.

In 2018, bp acquired Chargemaster Ltd. in the U.K., which it later branded to bp pulse. Its presence has extended across the world to China, Germany, Netherlands and the U.S.

bp Purchases Chargers From Tritium

bp pulse has purchased 50kw RTM and 150kw PKM chargers from Australia-based Tritium DCFC Limited, with the chargers to be manufactured in a new Tennessee facility capable of producing 30,000 units per year.

As part of its global EV goal, bp also has opened fast-charge points in Melbourne, Australia, according to a news release from Tritium, a manufacturer of EV chargers. The company has added manufacturing capacity to keep up with growing demand. During its fiscal 2022 year, which ended June 30, it reported sales orders of $203 million and a backlog of $149 million. It posted a net loss of $127,562 for the fiscal year.

“Our customers are now implementing multi-year investment strategies to build networks of fast charging infrastructure in our primary target geographies of the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. We are pleased to begin the 2023 fiscal year with a record contracted backlog that is currently in the process of being fulfilled as our Tennessee facility ramps-up its production capacity, in-line with our operating plan,” said Tritium Chief Executive Officer Jane Hunter in a fourth-quarter earnings release.

While the company had 11,000 fast-charger connectors at the end of its fiscal year, in January 2023, it announced it had received two substantial orders for chargers, including the bp order, an indication of the speed at which demand is accelerating.

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