Hello, fantastic to be here!
Thank you, Minister, for your opening remarks. It’s an exciting vision and the recently published Transport Decarbonisation Strategy certainly gives us the pathway we need.
From aviation to shipping – and of course electric vehicles – bp is leading the way.
Can I start by asking a simple question: where are we today?
The market is booming – in the UK, sales of EVs in 2021 will be double 2020, and four times’ 2019.
No OEM, as Sarah will testify, is having a problem selling EVs right now!
bp operates more than 8,000 public charging points across the UK, including the largest number of high-speed chargers in the market.
It’s looking like bp pulse alone will power around 100 million miles of zero tailpipe emission in 2021 alone.
Just today, our new ultra-fast EV motorway hub has opened in Scotland – that’s one million more EV miles each year.
We’re partnering with businesses – from our EV hub on Park Lane for Uber and other commercial fleets, to partnerships with Didi in China, BMW Group and Daimler in Germany and elsewhere, and with VW – Sarah, delighted to be working with you.
But this is still a nascent market
We must not take consumer confidence for granted – if we do we’ll fail. So we have to step up:
- We’ll need to deliver better customer service which – full disclosure – is not proving easy as demand explodes
- Industry reliability will have to go up too – from an average of 90% to 99.9%
- We’re investing millions in both service and reliability – so improvements are coming
- We also have to be honest – EVs aren’t right for everyone today – the upfront cost can be higher and it isn’t as ‘easy’ as filling up with petrol, something the Minister has rightly said she wants to see change.
But we can also be proud that it works for so many right now:
- In less time than it takes for a cup of tea, a Kit Kat and a trip to the loo, you could get more than 100 miles of range for some EVs on our highest speed chargers
- We have contactless payment and the ability to pay for charging without an app or an account
- And of course the ‘total cost of ownership’ – once fuel savings are factored in – of an EV is already lower than a traditional vehicle for some drivers.
We’ll need to deliver different charging speeds for different needs – it’s not ‘one size fits all’.
- Drivers will need an ultra-fast charger if they’re on the motorway, but not if you’re at the cinema – or your car would be full before the adverts had finished! You’ll need a 50kW or slower there
- And millions of new workplace and home chargers will be needed – which we’re already delivering. And those without driveways will need reliable, affordable alternatives of course.
- Ultimately, as an industry we must be bold and innovate. It’s our role to design, engineer, and above all deliver. We must win the confidence of the consumer – and of government – to deliver this vital infrastructure.
But we will get there!
Let’s think for a moment about how we might measure success:
It won’t just be by counting the number of chargers that’s for sure. It’s not about the size of your network, but what it can deliver.
Rushing to put in charging – regardless of the speed – into street furniture isn’t the answer.
- If one of our ultra-fast chargers was charging for just one third of the time, it would deliver about 1,000 kWh a day – a single lamp-post charger would deliver just 40 kwh in the same amount of time.
So local, regional, devolved and national government can think creatively about this – and about land use too; there is land out there that could be reassigned and reprioritised for EV charging hubs. We won’t meet the forecast demand otherwise.
So, we’re going to be working closely with government on this – not just with Rachel and her colleagues in the DfT but with BEIS too, OZEV of course, Downing Street and Treasury, and Ofgem
I want to end on the one piece of work we have to prioritise to drive progress and deliver consumer confidence:
- Many new chargers – on public, private commercial land or even at home – require new or upgraded connections to the electricity grid
- This can involve complex negotiations with DNOs and other parties
- As an industry, this element of the journey is going much, much too slowly – to the detriment of the driver (or should I say the voter, Minister) and industry
- We must all do better here – some EV charging points can take the best part of a year to install – this simply isn’t good enough.
bp is absolutely committed to working more closely with DNOs to drive change:
- Just as bp is transforming its ways of working; DNOs will transform theirs, I know
- In some areas we may need government guidance on more helpful interpretations of existing obligations
- And, yes, legislation may be required too.
On Saturday, Ofgem announced a new approach to how grid connections for new charging hubs will be funded. This will need careful implementation but it is a welcome start.
So this is about partnerships – together we can get this right:
- Accelerating progress in British EV charging infrastructure
- Delivering a wave of innovation by British companies to export around the world
- And above all, reducing the UK’s emissions and carbon footprint, helping it meet its Net Zero targets
- It’s why I have the best job in the world as we accelerate towards a brilliant and incredibly exciting EV future.
Notes to editors
Speech from an EV Summit Online Series panel discussion held to mark World EV Day. The speakers were:
- Richard Bartlett, bp
- Sarah Cox, head of marketing, VW
- Oliver Johnson, head of eMobility, ABB
- Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Transport Decarbonisation and Future of Transport
- Rachel Burden, BBC Radio 5 (moderator)