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BP to buy Chargemaster and promises EV charging on forecourts within 12 months

BP to buy Chargemaster and promises EV charging on forecourts within 12 months

Oil giant BP is to buy Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging company, in a reported £130 million deal and has pledged to install chargers on fuel station forecourts over the next 12 months.

Chargemaster operates the UK’s largest public network of electric vehicle charging points, with more than 6,500 across the country. It also designs, builds, sells and maintains electric vehicle charging units for a wide range of locations, including for home charging.

The number of electric vehicles on the road is anticipated to increase rapidly in coming decades. By 2040 BP estimates that there will be 12 million on UK roads, up from around 135,000 in 2017.

BP says that the development of convenient and innovative electric vehicle charging technologies and networks is a key part of its strategy to advance the energy transition.

BP said it was committed to developing new offers to meet changing customer demand and growing new businesses and supporting opportunities for customers to reduce their emissions.

The company said it believed that to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, customers would require convenient access to fast and ultra-fast charging.

BP said its UK retail network was well positioned to provide that access with more than 1,200 service stations across the country.

BP is not the first oil company to buy an electric vehicle charging company. Last year Shell acquired NewMotion and is in the process of adding charging points to its forecourts.

A key priority for the newly named BP Chargemaster company will be the rollout of ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150kW rapid chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.

BP said UK customers could expect to access BP Chargemaster chargers on forecourts over the next 12 months.

Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP downstream, said: “Bringing together the UK’s leading fuel retailer and its largest charging company, BP Chargemaster will deliver a truly differentiated offer for the country’s growing number of electric vehicle owners.

“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 energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.”

Founded in 2008, Chargemaster runs POLAR, the largest public charging network in the UK. The POLAR network now includes more than 6,500 public charging points. The company has more than 40,000 customers of its POLAR network.

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster said: “The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK. I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP, which will help us maintain our market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network to support the large range of exciting new electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next couple of years.”

Upon completion of the purchase Chargemaster employees will continue to be employed by BP Chargemaster or its subsidiaries. BP Chargemaster will operate as a wholly-owned BP entity.