BP is to expand its international EV footprint, striking a deal with Chinese firm Didi Chuxing (DiDi).
The new joint venture will see charging hubs installed across China, and a pilot site has already opened with ten chargers ranging in speeds from 60-120kW.
Didi Chuxing is a multi-faceted transportation company, headquartered in Beijing, which has an extensive operations network include app-based taxi or car hailing, fleet operation services and electric vehicle charging.
This is not the first foray into EV charging for BP, having acquired Chargemaster in June 2018. The company also already has an EV presence in China, having made an equity investment in PowerShare, an online EV platform that provides hardware and software solutions for EV charging.
BP previously invested in NIO Capital’s investment fund, which is primarily focused on China’s new electric vehicle ecosystem.
The deal with DiDi is a move that follows in the footsteps of other energy giants, in particular Shell, which furthered its presence in the global EV charging market through the acquisition of US charging firm Greenlots earlier this year.
Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s downstream chief executive, said the lessons learned from the deal will help BP to expand its mobility business worldwide.
“As the world's largest EV market, China offers extraordinary opportunities to develop innovative new businesses at scale and we see this as the perfect partnership for such a fast-evolving environment,” Erginbilgic continued.
The DiDi offers a range of app-based options for transport, including ride hailing and automobile solutions sharing, and the two companies intend to expand into loyalty and convenience offerings and other fleet services in the near future.
Cheng Wei, CEO of DiDi, said the charging network will promote the growth of the industry and provide a “better experience for car owners across the country”.