BP joins BMW and Daimler charging software venture
BMW Group and Daimler Mobility have added BP as a third shareholder to their digital charging software business, further expanding their charge point networks for EV drivers.
The agreement sees BP take a 33.3% stake alongside the two carmakers in Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS), a leading developer of digital charging solutions for automotive manufacturers and vehicle fleet operators.
DCS operates charging services such as ‘Mercedes me Charge’, ‘BMW Charging’ and ‘MINI Charging’ under the BMW Group and Daimler’s joint Charge Now brand; it already offers access to 228,000 charging points in 32 countries.
The new collaboration, which is subject to regulatory approval, will grow this further, helping to get more EVs on the roads.
The addition of BP will initially provide DCS customers with access to an additional 8,700 charging points across Europe including ultra-fast charging points of more than 150kW, and this will expand further.
BP has plans to have 250 ultra-fast chargers operating at its BP retail sites in the UK and 500 ultra-fast charging points across its Aral retail sites in Germany by the end of 2021 and these will also be made available to DCS customers.
BP will also develop new integrated offers for fleets (including Fuel & Charge) as a first step – targeting plug-in drivers as well drivers of fully electric vehicles.
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.”