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BP to Buy UK’s Largest Electric Car Charge Network

By Stephen Turvil | July 5, 2018

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BP to install ultra-fast, electric vehicle, chargers at its forecourts after purchase of Chargemaster in The UK

BP to Buy UK’s Largest Electric Car Charge Network

Why BP is buying Chargemaster

BP is to buy Chargemaster which operates the largest, electric vehicle, recharge network in The United Kingdom. That is significant for motorists that want more such infrastructure and the companies. Consider why. BP has more than 1,200 forecourts which predominantly sell unleaded petrol and diesel. That is sensible today as the vast majority of vehicles require said fuels.

However, BP is considering the future needs of its customers and how it can meet them. It has, therefore, recognised that the popularity of eco-friendly electric vehicles is increasing exponentially. Chargemaster confirmed there were less than 2,000 on the road in July 2012, for example. In contrast, it expects there to be 1 million by the middle of 2022 (possibly up to 1.4 million).

This trend is likely to continue until fully electric, zero-emission, cars become the norm. If BP focuses too much on petrol and diesel long term, it might therefore struggle to remain profitable as such vehicles vanish from the road. Adding chargers to its forecourts far increases the likelihood of staying relevant.

Strengths and priorities

BP’s purchase is therefore in its interest and blends strengths from both companies. BP, for example, has a vast network of forecourts in prime locations and millions of customers. Chargemaster, in contrast, is the largest supplier of home, workplace and public chargers in The UK. It also operates POLAR which is our largest network of public chargers (6,500 nationwide).

BP priorities include:

  • Make motorists more likely to choose electric vehicles by increasing the supporting infrastructure 
  • Install 150Kw, ultra-fast, chargers that transfer enough power to vehicles to increase their range by 100 miles in 10 minutes 
  • Install chargers on its forecourts within 12 months 
  • Re-brand Chargemaster BP Chargemaster 

Comment from BP and Chargemaster

BP to Buy UK’s Largest Electric Car Charge Network Image 0

“At BP, we believe fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles”, Chief Executive Tufan Erginbilgic said. Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s expertise, experience and assets is a important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites”. BP hopes to “becoming the leading provider” of energy to such cars”, he stated.

Chargemaster welcomed its purchase too. Chief Executive David Martell added: “I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP”. He expects to now “maintain” the company’s “market leading position” and expand its network of public chargers to support “the exciting new electric vehicles” that are coming to market in the next few years.

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