Global energy company BP has invested over $5 million in Mobi charger units from US manufacturer, FreeWire Technologies, many of which will be deployed at petrol station sites around the UK.
The company plans to roll-out the electric vehicle (EV) charging systems for use at selected BP retail sites in the UK and Europe during 2018.
Commenting on the investment, Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP Downstream, said: “Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future. EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business, but customer demand and the technologies available are still evolving.
“Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.â€?
Arcady Sosinov, chief executive of FreeWire Technologies added: “We applaud BP’s commitment to providing a wide range of charging methods for its global customer base.â€?
“The Mobi Charger can be quickly and cost effectively scaled across vast transportation networks — flexibility that delivers benefits all along the EV charging value chain. We are thrilled that BP, which is such a significant provider of transportation infrastructure, has acknowledged the promise of our solution through this investment and partnership.â€?
BP said it is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy through focusing on reducing its own operational emissions, improving its products to enable customers to lower their emissions and creating low carbon businesses. It said BP Ventures supports each of these areas by “identifying emerging trends and businesses, making strategic investments and testing technologies and solutions for their scalabilityâ€?.
Improved coverage for electric vehicle charging points is seen to be crucial in speeding up the adoption of electric vehicles among individuals and businesses, with concerns about range and a lack of recharging points two of the major barriers to speedier take-up of the technology.
BP’s rival Shell has already announced that progress to rollout around 60 rapid charging points at petrol retail sites around the UK before the end of the first quarter of 2018 is progressing on schedule (see airqualitynews.com story).