Major oil companies are beginning to explore the possibility of offering EV charging at their retail outlets. Shell has begun installing DC fast chargers at selected stations in the Netherlands and the UK.
Now British Petroleum has begun talking to EV-makers about partnering on a network of charging stations. “We have discussions going on with a lot of the EV manufacturers to have a tie-up with our retail network for charging,” BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley told Reuters. Dudley has been an advocate of the oil industry’s need to participate in the move away from fossil fuels. A recent analysis by the company predicted that more than 100 million electric cars will be on the road by 2035.
This isn’t BP’s first foray into EV charging. In 2010, it announced a pilot program that would equip 45 of its US stations with chargers (BP operates 11,000 fuel stations across the US). In 2011, it installed ABB fast chargers at stations in the Netherlands.
“We’ll be ready for this world but we’re not going to dive in too deeply,” Dudley said, alluding to BP’s earlier unsuccessful ventures into wind and solar power. BP will make investments in future technologies, but these will consist of small stakes in other companies, or partnerships, he said. Dudley added that BP is also studying autonomous vehicles and the potential for combining natural gas with solar power generation.