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Volkswagen, bp partner to rollout fast EV charging across Europe

The first EV charger has been installed in Dusseldorf, Germany. Image: bp

The first EV charger has been installed in Dusseldorf, Germany. Image: bp

Volkswagen has formed a strategic partnership with bp to rollout electric vehicle (EV) charging, targeting up to 8,000 chargepoints by 2024.

The first charger as part of the partnership has been installed in Dusseldorf, Germany, but the full rollout is to see 4,000 chargepoints installed at bp’s Aral retail sites in Germany and bp retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months.

The 8,000 chargepoints targeted by 2024 will be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.

Volkswagen previously launched a rollout of EV charging in the UK in partnership with Pod Point in 2019, targeting the installation of 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks.

In March 2022, Tesco announced it had reached the installation of chargepoints at 500 of its stores.

Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units are to be used for its rollout with bp, with each featuring two chargepoints. The Flexpole units also have an integrated battery storage system, helping to overcome the need for high-powered grid connections – a common obstacle to the rollout of fast charging in Europe.

The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid, which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, Volkswagen said, with this therefore reducing installation times.

Charger locations are to be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda vehicles, as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, called Elli.

Volkswagen and bp are also eyeing other opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.

Bernard Looney, bp’s chief executive officer, said: "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.”

In March, bp unveiled plans to invest £1 billion in EV charging in the UK over the next ten years, with this including goals of tripling the number of public chargepoints it operates in the UK.

The company currently operates the bp pulse network, with this being a combination of the Polar and bp Chargemaster networks, the latter of which it acquired in 2018.

Earlier this week, former founder and CEO of Chargemaster David Martell launched a new EV chargepoint company, dubbed EVIOS, with the first customer units are expected to go out in June.


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