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Super-charging the drive to electric

Release date:
9 September 2020
From roads to Formula E racetracks, we’re helping more people, cities and countries charge ahead with the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) than ever before. As well as aiming to increase our charging points from 7,500 today to more than 70,000 in 2030, we are also partnering with Uber, DiDi and Jaguar Racing as we work to help the world electrify. Discover more on World EV Day

London’s Pall Mall leading to Buckingham Palace

A cleaner ride in the capital

First up, London, where bp Chargemaster has just announced a deal with ride-hailing giant Uber to help their EV drivers access more affordable, reliable charging infrastructure around the capital. Uber has bold plans to help tackle air pollution, including a commitment that every car on its app in London will be fully electric by 2025. Which is where bp Chargemaster comes in. Under the deal, London’s Uber drivers will benefit from  discounts on our rapidly expanding network, including access to our latest 150kW ultra-fast charging (UFC) points and dedicated infrastructure at new rapid charging hubs that bp will establish in the city. 

EV charging with bp Chargemaster

Stop and shop

Staying with bp Chargemaster in the UK, we’ve also launched a trial of 50kW rapid chargers at M&S stores. The three units were installed in Kent in August 2020, the first of five locations around the country. With the average rapid charge taking around 30 minutes, M&S customers can shop while their vehicle is topped up.

Tests of Castrol e-fluids in the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team’s Jaguar I-TYPE 4 have resulted in improvements in the car’s performance

Race to innovate

EVs aren’t just taking us to the shops – they’re out on the racetrack in the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. And Castrol is at the heart of the action, thanks to a strategic partnership with Jaguar Racing. The two firms have just renewed that relationship, meaning we will continue to work together to develop new e-fluids and lubricants and improved battery cooling technology. 


In March 2020, Castrol also renewed its partnership as the official e-fluids partner for VW Motorsports. Together, we’ve helped VW’s IDR model break several high-profile records1.

These relationships are important because everything that Castrol learns in the high-performance, high-stress world of motor racing gets fed back into product development for road EVs of the future. Already, more than half of the world’s major vehicle manufacturers use Castrol e-fluids as part of their factory fill2.

 1The overall course record in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (US), the Goodwood Hill Climb (UK) and Tianmen Mountain (China).
2Based on LMCA data for top 20 selling OEMs (new car sales) in 2019. 

Bernard’s view on LinkedIn

“What surprised me was that every electric vehicle charger is in use. Every single one. This isn’t rush hour or the start of a big holiday. This is a Tuesday night!”

Critical challenges to EV adoption in the US as found by the Castrol report

Accelerating the EVolution

Speaking of Castrol and the future, the business recently commissioned a report into the EV industry, which sought the views of almost 10,000 consumers, fleet managers and industry specialists across eight major EV markets. The report established the need for three key criteria in order to accelerate the global market: an average car price of $36,000; a 31-minute charge time; and a 469-kilometre range. Get these right and there could be a $376 billion opportunity for annual EV sales across these eight markets by 2025. Find out more in the full report.

Ultra-fast charging points at an Aral station in Germany

Ultra-fast on the autobahn

Over in Germany, bp’s retail brand, Aral, is also investing in a network of UFC sites. Following a successful pilot at five retail sites, Aral now plans to roll out more than 100 charging points across its network over the next 12 months. With Aral’s 350kW chargers, a vehicle with the appropriate battery technology can be charged for a range of up to 350 kilometres in just over 10 minutes.

A row of cars being charged by bpXJ chargers through bp’s partnership with DiDi in China

Charging across China

We’ve joined forces with Chinese mobile transportation platform DiDi to build a network of EV charging hubs across the world’s largest EV market. Around 550 million people already use DiDi’s platform, with some one million registered EVs, offering 10 billion rides a year.


Established in January 2020, our joint venture (JV) is now operating more than 250 fast charge points in several cities across Guangdong Province, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Together, those sites sell more than 300,000kWh of electricity every week. We plan to open more than 1,500 charging stations over the next five years. 

US chargers get a ‘Boost’

And in the US, bp-backed FreeWire Technologies has installed the country’s first ultra-fast battery-powered EV charger. The Boost ChargerTM, which was installed at an ampm in Lodi, California, as part of a pilot, boasts 160kWh of battery capacity and 120kW output. Using the integrated battery as a buffer, the charger is able to ‘boost’ the existing power at the site, delivering the highest power output in the region, while enabling widespread deployment at any commercial location.


“Fuelling stations and convenience stores have had very few options to provide EV charging until now,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “With Boost Charger, EV drivers can get 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, and businesses can drive more revenue from new visitors to their store – all at a dramatically lower cost.”


FreeWire is planning on installing three additional units in 2020, with more to come at new sites in California, Washington State and Oregon in 2021 and beyond. 

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