BP diverts from Russia to unveil £1bn boost for UK electric car charging points

25th March 2022 / United Kingdom
BP diverts from Russia to unveil £1bn boost for UK electric car charging points

Where there is a gaping hole in the market – money will look to profit from it. It was only three weeks ago that BP was reportedly looking to abandon its stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft in an abrupt and costly end to three decades of operating in the energy-rich country. In was the most significant move, as a result of quickly moving legislation around the world on Russian sanctions, by a Western company in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Because of it, BP is having to ramp up its investment in electric car charging points as that is where there is still a significant hole in the market.

The result was always going to be an acceleration of funding into new projects to secure long-term revenue streams. For energy companies it’s renewables.

BP is about to unveil an additional £1bn for new electric car charging points in the UK. The government hopes to announce this to show there is confidence in its own strategy – that goes alongside its long-awaited infrastructure strategy.

Ministers have been working furiously for months on building some sort of coherent strategy, expected to be announced this week, to ensure the UK has enough charging stations as cars and vans switch to electric.

The FT reports that – “BP’s investment will significantly boost the number of superfast charging points in its current network of about 8,000, which are mainly located in petrol stations and motorway service areas. The network, called Pulse and formerly known as Chargemaster, also includes some older on-street chargers. BP declined to comment on the new investment and would not provide a figure for its overall spending on charging points to date across the country. It has previously said it plans to install 16,000 superfast UK charging points by the end of the decade.”

The government has stated that it will legislate to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, with some hybrids allowed until 2035. Many in the industry think this is just political chest-beating and like heat pumps – in not practical until a full infrastructure is assured.

About 18 per cent of new cars sold last month were electric cars, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. However, the numbers being sold are low due to the global shortage of materials and parts, particularly the chips required to manage engine and infotainments systems.

The government itself strategy is looking to emphasise an existing commitment of more than £1bn from taxpayers towards improving the electric vehicle infrastructure.

The strategy includes two aims. The first is on-street charging. As 40 per cent of motorists who do not have driveways to shift to electric cars, this will be crucial. The second is the much greater availability of superfast charging at remote service areas, essential to enable drivers of EV’s to complete longer journeys.

Petrol-powered vehicles, including mild hybrids (MHEVs), remain Britain’s most popular powertrain, accounting for 58.3% of all new cars registered in 2021, with diesel-powered cars including MHEVs making up just 14.2% of the market, followed by BEVs at 11.6%, HEVs at 8.9% and PHEVs at 7.0%.

SafeSubcribe/Instant Unsubscribe - One Email, Every Sunday Morning - So You Miss Nothing - That's It



At a time when reporting the truth is critical, your support is essential in protecting it.
Find out how

The European Financial Review

European financial review Logo

The European Financial Review is the leading financial intelligence magazine read widely by financial experts and the wider business community.