Volkswagen and bp to roll-out EV fast charging across Europe
Volkswagen and bp have launched a strategic partnership aiming to install 8,000 fast charging points across Europe, starting with the UK and Germany.
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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 fast charging infrastructure in Europe today – the need for high-powered grid connections.
Cutting installation costs and construction work disruption
The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work. The charging speed is enough to deliver up to 160km driving range in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle.
The first phase will see charge points installed at bp’s Aral retail sites in Germany and bp 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 driving bp’s transformation
Bernard Looney, bp’s chief executive officer, said: “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.”
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said: “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Today we have the broadest offer of electric cars in the market and sold more EVs in the region than any other carmaker last year. 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.”
Integrating charging locations into navigation
The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda vehicles and Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. Any EV driver will be able to use the new chargers as part of the bp pulse and Aral pulse network enabling all EV drivers to sign up and collect rewards from bp/Aral loyalty programs.
Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components said: “As we promised at our Power Day, we are driving the expansion of charging infrastructure in Europe at high speed. 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, Volkswagen and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.
Image: (L) Bernard Looney, bp’s chief executive officer (R) Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer.