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Volkswagen and BP are expanding their fast-charging networks.


Volkswagen and BP are expanding their fast-charging networks. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

Volkswagen and BP today launched a strategic partnership that will drive the adoption of electric vehicles across Europe.

Volkswagen’s innovative Flexpole 150 kW charging units, each with two charging points and an integrated battery storage system, overcome one of the biggest obstacles to the rapid expansion of fast-charging infrastructure in Europe today, the need for a strong grid connection.

Flexpole units can be connected directly to the low-voltage grid, eliminating the need for dedicated substations and expensive civil works, significantly reducing installation time, while still offering fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough for a range of up to 99 miles or 160km within 10 minutes, depending on the Electric Vehicle model.

In the first phase of the rollout, it is planned for Volkswagen and BP to add up to 4,000 charging points over the next 24 months at bp’s Aral retail locations in Germany and bp’s retail locations in the UK. By the end of 2024, up to 8,000 charging points will be available in Germany, the UK and other European countries.

bp is rapidly expanding its electric vehicle charging network, including its extensive network of well-located retail locations. Electric vehicle drivers can charge at safe, well-lit charging stations and receive additional services such as food and drink for their journeys, as well as restrooms.

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 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.”

The charging stations will be integrated into navigation and other in-car apps in Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda vehicles, as well as in Volkswagen’s charging app Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. Any Electric Vehicle driver can use the new chargers as part of the bp pulse and Aral pulse network, allowing all Electric Vehicle drivers to sign up and earn rewards from the bp Aral loyalty program.

Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group and Chief Executive of Volkswagen Group Components said: “We are driving the expansion of charging infrastructure in Europe at high speed. Volkswagen and BP 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.”

Emma Delaney, bp’s Executive Vice President Customers and Products, said: “With the transition to electric vehicles well underway in Europe, we want to provide fast, reliable charging and convenience to Electric Vehicle drivers on-the-go. The flexible battery-based chargers will accelerate bp’s fast charging network roll-out at our well-located sites in Europe. We are planning up to 4,000 additional charge points in Germany and the UK in the near term – a turbo-boost for our fast charging network in these countries.”

BP’s origins can be traced back to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company established in 1908 as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to develop oil discoveries in Iran.

In 1935 it became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, and in 1954 it was renamed BP.

In 1959, the company expanded from the Middle East to Alaska. BP acquired a controlling stake in Ohio Standard Oil in 1978.

Between 1979 and 1987, the formerly majority-owned state-owned company was gradually privatized by the British government.

BP merged with Amoco in 1998 to become BP Amoco plc and in 2000 acquired ARCO and Burmah Castrol to become BP plc in 2001.

From 2003 to 2013, BP was a partner in the Russian TNK-BP joint venture.

From 1988 to 2015, BP accounted for 1.53% of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

BP was directly involved in several major environmental and safety incidents. These include the 2005 explosion at the Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and resulted in record OSHA fines; the UK’s largest oil spill, the 1967 Torrey Canyon shipwreck; and the 2006 Prudhoe Bay spill. The oil incident, the largest oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope, resulted in a $25 million civil penalty, the largest fine per barrel of oil at the time.

In the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest accidental oil spill in history, approximately 4.9 million barrels (210 million US gallons) of oil were spilled, with serious environmental impacts on human health and the economy. This resulted in serious legal and Public Relations consequences for BP. 1.8 million US gallons (43,000 barrels) of Corexit oil dispersant were used in decontamination reactions, the largest application of such a chemical in U.S. history.

The company pleaded guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanors, one felony of lying to the U.S. Congress, and agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion in fines and penalties, the largest criminal verdict in U.S. history. On July 2, 2015, BP and five states announced an $18.7 billion settlement to address Clean Water Act fines and miscellaneous claims.

Overall, oil spills cost the company more than $65 billion in cleanup costs, fees, and fines.

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