Volkswagen and bp have set up a strategic partnership that aims to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a fast charging network across Europe by 2024 and delivering a “seamless experience for EV drivers”.
Based upon Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, which feature two charge points and have an integrated battery storage system, which means the units can be connected to a low voltage grid, removing the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work. This significantly reduces installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 160km of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle.
The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at bp’s Aral fuel retail sites in Germany and bp retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.
Bernard Looney, chief executive officer, bp says, “EV charging is one of the key engines driving bp’s transformation to an integrated energy company. That’s why we’re so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world’s leading car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step-forward on our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe.”
Unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany, Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said, “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral. The decarbonisation of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with bp to accelerate the roll-out of the fast-charging network across Europe.”
The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. However the new chargers will be available to all EV drivers through the bp pulse and Aral pulse network.
Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components, said, “Together with bp, we will bring thousands of fast-charging stations to life within a very short time. Rapid expansion of the charging network is crucial now. To make that happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer a perfect solution, since the time and costs required for installation are minimal.”
Under the terms of their agreement, VW and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.