VW and BP know they'll both have to embrace electric vehicles, and they're ready to work together to ease some of the transitional pain. Autoweek reports the two companies are teaming up to install thousands of VW's Flexpole 150kW fast EV chargers at gas stations in Germany and the UK. Within two years, there will be as many as 2,000 charging units (4,000 charge points) in place at BP stations in the UK and Aral locations in Germany.
The expansion should help BP expand its charging network to 8,000 connections by the end of 2024. Not surprisingly, the locations of the new chargers will be available through both in-car apps in VW group cars (including Seat and Skoda) as well as VW's Elli charging app. The two firms also promise to explore "further opportunities" in eco-friendly transportation.
While the Flexpole chargers are quick and can deliver nearly 100 miles of charging in 10 minutes, their true appeal might be their flexibility. As they use battery storage, they can operate on low-voltage grids — it's easier to install them at gas stations and other sites where high voltage might not be an option.
This isn't an altruistic move, of course. VW has been ramping up its electrification plans and now expects 70 percent of its sales to be EVs by 2030 — it needs an extensive charging network if customers are going to buy these vehicles in droves. BP, meanwhile, is trying to shed its reputation as an oil and gas giant in favor of becoming an "integrated energy company." A partnership like this could help BP transition gas stations to EV charging more gracefully than it might on its own.