Volkswagen and bp have launched a strategic partnership that aims to boost the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe, unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany. The partnership’s goal is to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a ultra-rapid charging network across Europe by 2024.
Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, each of which feature two charge points, have an integrated battery storage system, overcoming one of the biggest obstacles to the rapid roll-out of ultra-rapid charging infrastructure in Europe today – the need for high-powered grid connections.
The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, significantly reducing installation times while still providing ultra-rapid charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 100 miles 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 retail sites in Germany and bp pulse retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.
bp is rapidly expanding its EV charging network, including at its extensive and conveniently located network of retail sites. EV drivers will be able to charge in safe, well-lit stations with access to additional services such as food and drink for their journeys, as well as toilets.
“EV charging is one of the key engines driving bp’s transformation to an integrated energy company,” said Bernard Looney, bp’s chief executive officer.
“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.”
Under the terms of their agreement, Volkswagen and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.
“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,” said Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer.
“The decarbonization 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.”