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Our electric evolution

Release date:
24 June 2021
Here’s a snapshot of how we are working across our businesses – from charging to e-Fluids – so we can all get plugged into the EV revolution. Check back for regular updates

Fleet spot

Uber partner-drivers like Charlie can now access dedicated fast chargers in the heart of Central London, as bp pulse launches the first rapid charging hub for fleet vehicles

 

The new multi-charger hub on Park Lane already has 10 rapid 50kW chargers, with a further 12 being added in the coming months. In our latest collaboration with ride-hailing giant, some of the chargers will be dedicated to Uber drivers. 

 

With taxis and private hire vehicles set to dominate the capital’s public charging demand by 2025, this hub further supports the transition of businesses and fleets to electric vehicles.

 

bp intends to open hundreds of similar hubs across London (a second site is already under construction in the Westminster area) and other UK and European cities by 2030.

 

The new rapid charging hubs aim to deliver charging in locations where fleet and operational vehicles need it most – and, importantly, at scale. Partner-drivers on the Uber app will also benefit from discounts on bp pulse public charging and home charging units.

 

Additional facilities may be provided at each location, including toilets, WiFi and refreshments.

Driving the EVolution

Driving the EVolution

What would it take to achieve more mainstream adoption of EVs? Four experts look at how we could get to three tipping points  ̶  $36,000 price point, 31-minute charge time, and a range of 469 kilometres.

 

The findings of the panel from within Castrol, the wider bp group and the Jaguar Racing Formula E are published in a new report launched by Castrol, Driving the EVolution. In it, they identify three key areas of focus that will be central to achieving mainstream adoption:

  • Co-engineering across the EV supply chain. 
  • Collaboration between engineers, OEMs and suppliers.
  • Consumer education to dispel misconceptions about EV ownership.

 

According to bp’s Energy Outlook Rapid Transition Scenario estimate, there could be 1 billion electrified cars and trucks in the global vehicle parc by 2040, and EVs could account for 80% of passenger cars in use by 2050. 

 

To this end, bp and Castrol are tackling main drivers to EV adoption, such as access to fast-charging through nationwide networks and improving the efficiency of a vehicle’s engine with high-performance e-Fluids. 

 

Driving the EVolution follows Castrol’s 2020 study, Accelerating the EVolution, which explored the views of nearly 10,000 consumers, fleet managers and industry specialists across eight of the world’s most important EV markets.

Digital experience

bp has agreed to become a partner with BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in Digital Charging Solutions (DCS) GmbH, to help make electric vehicle charging simpler for drivers.

 

DCS works with some of the most iconic brands in the automotive industry, as well as fleet operators, to integrate charging solutions into vehicle operating systems. Through this on-board software, EV drivers can access 228,000 public charging points in 32 countries. The vehicle does the work to find the nearest available charger or plan the best charging route – taking the hassle out of navigating different networks or apps.

 

As part of the deal, bp has also agreed to add its 8,700 charging points in the UK and Germany to the DCS network – improving access for drivers and allowing bp to reach a wider customer base, too.

 

bp’s acquisition of the 33.3% stake in DCS will be subject to regulatory approval.

Emma Delaney’s view on LinkedIn

“I’m really pleased that we’re partnering with these two automotive giants to help drive innovation and convenience for all our customers.”

A 3D visualization of what one of the hubs will look like

For EVs only – introducing charging hubs

bp pulse is to expand its ultra-fast charging (UFC) infrastructure across the UK, with a series of new EV-only hubs.

 

The first EV charging and convenience hub with 24 UFC points is due to open later in 2021, with more planned in high-traffic locations, including within easy reach of the motorway network.

 

As it takes minutes rather than hours to get charged up on a bp pulse UFC, that’s just enough time to grab a coffee or something to eat at the onsite café. 

 

The charging hubs will play a key role in helping to achieve bp pulse’s aim to double the size of its network in the UK to 16,000 charge points by 2030, with a particular emphasis on ultra-fast chargers. The total amount of charging on the bp pulse network is set to grow 30-fold by 2030.

Joining forces with VW

bp and Volkswagen Group have agreed to a strategic collaboration, with plans to develop ultra-fast charging (UFC) at bp retail sites in the UK, Germany and elsewhere in Europe.


The partnership should give EV drivers greater confidence in being able to access nearby, reliable, quality charging options. bp estimates that approximately 90% of people in the UK and Germany live within a 20-minute drive of a bp or Aral site.


The agreement includes bp becoming VW’s EV charging partner to develop an extensive UFC network.

 

The network would be integrated into VW’s cars, making finding and paying for charging easy. It would also be available for other EV customers, improving access to UFC more widely.


The companies signed a memorandum of understanding for their collaboration in March 2021 and intend to finalize agreements in the coming months.

A bp pulse customer charges her car in London

bp pulse points

It’s official. bp pulse, the UK’s largest EV public charging network, was the country’s fastest-growing rapid and ultra-fast charging network in 2020, according to data from EV mapping service Zap-Map. It shows that bp pulse added 167 public rapid charging locations across the nation – 65% more than any other UK provider.


The network delivered around 16 million kWh of energy, which equates to over 50 million miles of zero-emissions-at-tailpipe driving based on an efficiency of 3.5 miles per kWh. That’s 100 times the distance to the moon and back.


And that growth isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. In the first 40 days of 2021, the amount of energy bp pulse provided increased to more than 2 million kWh, a 19% jump on the same period last year.


This comes despite the UK being under heavy COVID-19 restrictions from 5 January, and vehicle traffic down 49% on levels from the start of 2020, suggesting that a greater number of EVs are now essential vehicles for many households.

The update of legacy infrastructure will be on old-style EV charging points such as this one

Updating legacy infrastructure

bp pulse has made £2 million available to radically improve the reliability of the UK’s legacy public charging infrastructure. It’s working with local authorities to upgrade and replace charge points across the country – meaning EV drivers will be able to charge in more places, more easily. 

 

The business has already agreed over £400,000 in infrastructure investment to replace more than 50 legacy charge points, which are typically owned by local authorities and were originally installed with government grant funding. Further discussions are already under way relating to an additional £750,000 of funding available for legacy charge point owners, which could see more than 300 units upgraded. 

 

“I’m delighted to see that steps are being taken to upgrade public EV charge points, increasing their reliability and taking us one step closer to delivering on the commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.”

 

Rachel Maclean, UK Transport Minister

Test your knowledge

It took more than seven years to register the first 100,000 EVs in the UK. How long did it take to go from 300,000 to 400,000?
Correct! It took just seven months.

Oops, wrong answer! It actually took just seven months.

e-Fluids move ON

Castrol has launched a new range of advanced e-Fluids for improved EV performance called Castrol ON. 

 

The range includes:

  • e-Transmission Fluids, which help to extend the life of the drivetrain system and enable EVs to go farther on a single charge.
  • e-Coolants, which help to keep batteries cooler, even in extreme conditions, and enable them to tolerate ultra-fast charging (>150kW).
  • e-Greases, which enable EVs to perform more efficiently by minimizing temperature spikes and enhancing durability of components while lowering weight.

 

Castrol ON e-Fluids, therefore, help to bring the automotive industry closer to achieving the three key tipping points for mainstream EV adoption, as identified by Castrol’s Accelerating the EVolution study. These are a charge time of 31 minutes, a range of 469 kilometres, and a price point of $36,000. 

Aral pulse ultra-fast charging in Wuppertal, Germany

Hitting the accelerator at Aral

In 2019, Aral, bp’s market-leading fuel retail brand in Germany, began the roll-out of ultra-fast charging points at its retail sites. Now operating under a new name, ‘Aral pulse’, the charging network is set to expand faster than originally planned. 

 

By the end of 2021, Aral pulse aims to have 500 ultra-fast charging ‎points with a charging capacity of up to 350kW each in operation at more than 120 Aral filling stations. Vehicles with the appropriate battery technology can be charged for a range of up ‎to 350 kilometres in just over 10 minutes. That’s the equivalent of driving ‎non-stop from London to Manchester.

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States

Houston is the most populous city in the US state of Texas

Uber excitement in Houston

bp has already teamed up with Uber in London, where its partner-drivers have access to dedicated bp pulse charging points and benefit from discounts on our public charging network.


Now, bp is working with Uber in the US by exploring the development of rapid EV charging hubs together in Houston. The goal is to help drivers on Uber’s platform to make the transition to electric vehicles – as well as to create a convenient and equitable network of charging available to the public.


This collaboration is the next step in our support for Houston’s emissions-reduction goals set out in its Climate Action Plan (CAP). bp also serves as the city’s strategic planning and technical partner on the CAP.

The Jaguar I-TYPE 5 racing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

On track for success

As the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E World Championship 2021 got under way in February with the first race of the season taking place in Saudi Arabia, Castrol continues to play a key part as the supplier of advanced e-Fluids for the Jaguar Formula-E Racing team. 

 

Castrol technology has already led to a significant step-up in performance for the Jaguar Racing team. And building on a long and successful motorsport partnership, we continue to work together to develop new e-Fluids that could further improve performance through cooling and component design in the Jaguar I-TYPE 5. 

DiDi charging points in China

Charging across China

It’s been a year since bp’s joint venture (JV) with Chinese mobile transportation platform DiDi got up and running. Known as bp Xiaoju, the JV’s plan to install a network of charging sites in key cities across China is now well under way with close to 1,500 charging points available to DiDi’s EV drivers and the general public . 

 

Around 550 million people already use DiDi’s platform, with some one million registered EVs, generating 60 million orders per day at peak  season. 

FreeWire Charge Booster

Going off grid

Following last year’s installation of the US’s first ultra-fast battery-powered EV charger at an ampm retail station in California, the company behind the technology has signed a memorandum of understanding with bp pulse in the UK. The agreement lays the groundwork for bp pulse to be the exclusive UK provider and operator of FreeWire Technologies’ Boost ChargerTM.

 

The innovative charger enables the rapid deployment of ultra-fast EV charging without requiring costly and time-intensive grid upgrades. It connects to existing low-voltage grid connections while enabling ultra-fast charging using an integrated 160 kWh lithium-ion battery. 

 

The agreement will help bp pulse to meet its goal of operating 700 or more ultra-fast public chargers by 2025, as chief operating officer Ross Mabon says: “FreeWire’s Boost Charger can be an exciting addition to our EV charging solutions, allowing us to expand our network faster, and in more locations than previously possible.”

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