BP has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company with over 6,500 charging points across the country.
Courtesy of BP
Chargemaster also designs, builds, sells and maintains EV charging units for a wide range of locations, including for home charging. The number of EVs on the road is anticipated to increase rapidly in coming decades with, according to BP estimates, 12 million EVs expected to appear on UK roads by 2040, up from around 135,000 in 2017.
BP has embarked on a strategy to advance the energy transition, including by developing convenient and innovative EV charging technologies and growing new businesses and supporting opportunities for customers to reduce their emissions. The company believes that in order to accelerate the adoption of EVs, customers will require convenient access to fast and ultra-fast charging. BPs UK retail network is well positioned to provide this access with over 1,200 service stations across the country. A key priority for BP Chargemaster will be the rollout of ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150kW rapid chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. BP customers in the UK can expect to access BP Chargemaster chargers on forecourts over the next 12 months.
“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” said Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP Downstream. “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.”
David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, added that the acquisition of the company by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK and that the move will help Chargemaster to maintain its market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network. This will support the large range of new EVs that are coming to market in the next couple of years.
Founded in 2008, Chargemaster runs POLAR, the largest public charging network in the UK. The POLAR network now includes over 6,500 public charging points. The company has over 40,000 customers of its POLAR network, of which an increasing number choose to pay a monthly subscription, and the remainder access on a pay-as-you-go basis. Chargemaster is also a leading supplier of home charging points across the UK and has strong links with car manufacturers, as the charging partner for a number of car brands in the UK.
“The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP is testament to the fact that future of transport is electric” said Erik Fairbairn, CEO and Founder of Pod Point, another leading UK EV charge point provider, commenting on the transaction. “Traditional oil companies know that they cannot afford to ignore this shift from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE). At Pod Point we've always highlighted how EV technology is advancing so rapidly that within just a few years they will become the natural choice for anyone buying a car. Today's news shows that this is becoming an increasingly mainstream view. It’s obviously exciting to see the rapid acceleration of the EV market.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Chargemaster employees will continue to be employed by BP Chargemaster or its subsidiaries. BP Chargemaster will operate as a wholly-owned BP entity.