FT - BP & BMW Group and Daimler Mobility MercPulseV2Crop

BP has agreed to join BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in their drive to extend and significantly improve electrification, making electric vehicle (EV) charging more convenient, simpler and seamless for drivers.

Under the agreement, BP will become a 33.3% partner alongside BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS), described as one of Europe’s leading developers of digital charging solutions for automotive manufacturers and vehicle fleet operators. BP’s acquisition of the stake in DCS will be subject to regulatory approval. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

DCS works with OEMs to integrate its charging solutions into vehicle operating systems, offering Plug & Charge for vehicle and charger to communicate seamlessly without the need for additional customer authentication. The company already operates ’Mercedes me Charge’, ’BMW Charging’ and ’MINI Charging’ services. The company already offers access to 228,000 charging points in 32 countries giving OEMs, fleet customers and EV drivers extensive access to charging infrastructure across Europe.

As part of the agreement, BP’s European charging networks will be integrated into the DCS’s software system as well as Fuel & Charge for fleet customers, as a first step. Electrification is at the heart of BP’s convenience and mobility strategy and the company aims to grow its network of public EV charging points by 2030 to over 70,000 worldwide. They currently have around 8,700 charging points in Europe and its UK network BP pulse is already the most used EV charging network in the UK, according to Zap Map.

The company is also rapidly growing its network of ultra-fast chargers and plans to have around 250 ultra-fast chargers operating at BP retail sites in the UK and 500 ultra-fast charging points across its Aral retail sites in Germany by year-end. DCS customers will gain access to these additional charging points and BP will gain access to a wider customer base.

Richard Bartlett, BP senior vice president, future mobility & solutions, said: “Our aim is to make charging as convenient as refuelling at the pump – fast, reliable and a great customer experience. Joining forces with BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in DCS, combined with the expansion of our ultra-fast charging network, will help provide drivers access to convenient charging where they need it. It also gives us access to a much wider customer base, ultimately driving up utilisation rates on our network.”

“Together with the BMW Group, we are consistently driving forward the transition to electric mobility. With BP, we are gaining a strategic partner who will help us to further strengthen the customer offering of DCS. BP’s large network of retail sites offer ideal conditions for the expansion of charging infrastructure – precisely where customers of electric vehicles need and expect them. We also see great potential in combining tank and charging solutions for the growing customer group of plug-in hybrids. BP’s commitment will help DCS accelerate the implementation of its ambitious plans,” says Stephan Unger, chief financial officer of Daimler Mobility AG, responsible for Finance and Controlling, Risk Management and Digital Mobility Solutions.

Rainer Feurer, Senior Vice President of Investments at the BMW Group, said: “A sufficient charging infrastructure is key to wider acceptance of electrification. With BP, the BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG have on board a partner who offers a strong brand and customer focus with an extensive European ultra-fast charging network, as well as retail sites. We strongly support an open and full-coverage charging network, as this is a clear benefit for our customers.”  

Jörg Reimann, CEO of Digital Charging Solutions GmbH, said: “Our cooperation with BP opens up completely new possibilities for expanding our product portfolio making charging even more comfortable for our customers. We know that combined charging and fuelling offers are pivotal for our fleet customers. We look forward to adding BP’s retail sites to our network and being able to jointly create innovative integrated services.”  

This collaboration will help to get more EVs on the roads and, ultimately, help move towards more sustainable mobility.