Volkswagen Group and BP launched a strategic partnership to ensure the rapid introduction of EV fast charging across Europe.
What does this mean for EV fast charging?
Volkswagen and BP launched their strategic partnership on April 28, 2022, which aims to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe. To this end, they presented the first charger in Düsseldorf, Germany. This joint partnership brings together two of the world’s leading players in e-mobility. They aim to transform EV’s fast charging access to key European markets by building fast charging1 charging network across Europe by 2024 and providing a seamless experience for EV drivers.
This partnership between Volkswagen and BP means:
- Rapid introduction of public fast EV charging throughout Europe;
- Quick installation of flexible battery-based chargers, as they do not require high power connections;
- A fast charging device for electric vehicles, now live and open to the public in Düsseldorf, Germany, with up to 4,000 charging points planned for 24 months in Germany and the United Kingdom;
- The growing BP charging network will be integrated into the control panels of Volkswagen, ŠKODA and Seat / Cupra in the car, which will ensure that drivers can find their nearest charger without any problems; and
- Potential installation of up to 8,000 new charging points in Germany, the United Kingdom and other European countries by the end of 2024.
How do Volkswagen’s Flexpole chargers work?
Volkswagen’s innovative Flexpole 150kW chargers, each one Characteristic two charging points, possess integrated battery storage system. This technology allows the company to overcome one of the biggest obstacles facing when I introduceeng an EV fast–charging infrastructure in Europe: need for high-power network connections.
Flexpole modules can be directly connected to a low voltage network, which eliminates the need for a special substation and expensive construction work. This significantly reduces installation time, while providing a fast charging speed of up to 150kW2, which is enough to provide up to 160 km of driving in just 10 minutes, depending on the EV model.
What are the plans and benefits in terms of additional charging points?
The first phase of this joint partnership will introduce approximately 4,000 additional refueling points both at BP’s Aral outlets in Germany and at BP’s outlets in the United Kingdom over the next 24 months. By the end of 2024, up to 8,000 fast EV charging points will potentially be available in Germany, the United Kingdom and other European countries.
BP is rapidly expanding its EV charging network, including its extensive and conveniently located retail network. This means that EV drivers will be able to charge their vehicles at safe, well-lit stations with access to additional services such as food, drink and toilets.
Herbert Diss, CEO of Volkswagen, said: “Volkswagen is a pioneer in the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Today we have the widest supply of electric cars on the market and we sold more electric cars in the region than any other car manufacturer last year.
“Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and completely climate-neutral. The decarbonisation of the European economy requires close cooperation across borders and sectors. We are pleased to work with BP to accelerate the deployment of the fast charging network across Europe.
Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, added: “The charging of EV is one of the key drivers driving BP’s transformation into an integrated energy company. That’s why we are so excited about our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world’s leading car manufacturers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step forward in our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe. “
How can these charging points be found?
The locations of the chargers will be included in the navigation and other applications for cars of Volkswagen, Seat and ŠKODA cars, as well as in the charging application of Volkswagen Elli. The purpose is to make it easier for drivers to find available EV charging points. In this way, every EV driver will be able to use the new chargers as part of the BP pulse and Aral pulse network, which allows all EV drivers to register and collect rewards from the BP / Aral loyalty programs.
Thomas Schmal, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “As we promised on our power day, we are stimulating the expansion of high-speed charging infrastructure in Europe. Together with BP, we will bring to life thousands of fast EV charging stations in a very short time.
“Rapid expansion of the charging network is now crucial. To make this happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer the perfect solution, as the time and cost required to install are minimal. ”
“BP has been serving customers on the move for decades in Europe and around the world,” said Emma Delaney, BP’s Executive Vice President of Customers and Products. “With the transition to electric cars in Europe, we want to ensure fast, reliable charging and convenience for drivers of electric cars on the go.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Volkswagen. Flexible battery-based chargers will accelerate the deployment of BP’s fast EV charging network in our well-located locations in Europe. We are planning up to 4,000 additional charging points in Germany and the United Kingdom in the near future – a turbo boost for our fast charging network in these countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, Volkswagen and BP will also seek to look together for additional opportunities to provide future lower-carbon mobility solutions.
1 “Fast charging” includes fast charging ≥50kW and ultrafast charging ≥150k.