Currently reading: BP Pulse charging network to double in size by 2030
Charging provider aims for 16,000-strong charging network, with focus on ultra-fast chargers on motorways

BP Pulse plans to double the number of EV chargers in its UK network to 16,000 by 2030, with ultra-fast charging hubs set to appear on high-traffic roads such as motorways.

The charging company - formerly known as BP Chargemaster - will work in partnership with The EV Network (EVN), a charging infrastructure development company.

The first of these charging hubs will open later in 2021 with 24 individual charging points, although the location of the site has yet to be revealed.

EVN will develop the facilities, some of which will offer drivers food, drink and other convenience services while their EVs charge.

“We're building a charging network that will give consumers the confidence to make the switch to EVs, knowing they can get the charge they need in the right places,” said BP Pulse CEO Matteo de Renzi. 

“We’re taking another step forward in our commitment to make ultra-fast charging widely accessible across the UK, including in easy reach of the motorway network.

“These new hubs will complement BP Pulse's existing plans to expand the number of ultra-fast chargers on BP's forecourts and it’s exciting to be launching this new additional option for drivers.”

BP Pulse estimates that charging on its network will increase 30-fold by 2030.

“This ground-breaking agreement with BP Pulse has got 2021 off to a racing start,” said Reza Shaybani, co-founder and CEO of EVN. “As the largest public charge point operator in the market, BP Pulse is a perfect partner for EVN to deliver critically required EV charging infrastructure nationwide.

“Together we will be fuelling growth in a vital part of the UK’s green economy, making a reliable national network of EV charging stations a reality for fast growing number of electric vehicle drivers.”

Meanwhile, BP has acquired a 33.3% stake in Digital Charging Solutions (DCS) - a company that develops charging software for car manufacturers - alongside the BMW Group and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes.

DCS already boasts 228,000 charging points across 32 countries in Europe, and the addition of the BP Pulse network will give some drivers access to a further 8700 chargers. These include ultra-fast chargers capable of delivering up to 150kW and BP aims to have 250 such chargers in operation in the UK by the end of 2021, with another 500 in Germany before the year is out.

Services such as ‘Mercedes me Charge’, ‘BMW Charging’ and ‘MINI Charging’ are already operated by DCS, allowing drivers to simply plug in and charge without any of the complications often experienced by plug-in vehicle users.

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Earlier this year, BP Pulse committed £2 million to help local authorities upgrade and replace EV chargers across the UK.

It has already invested more than £400,000 in upgrading more than 50 existing chargers, which were typically installed using government funding around 10 years ago and are owned by local authorities.

Some of these older devices are now “no longer usable” by EV drivers, according to BP Pulse, which aims to “radically improve” the country’s oft-criticised charging network.

Another £700,000 is now set to be allocated to the replacement and upgrading of another 300-plus units across the country, as part of the overall £2m fund set aside by the company.

In Milton Keynes, BP Pulse has replaced the majority of chargers from third-party manufacturers with more powerful, UK-made 50kW units featuring contactless payment terminals.

According to BP Pulse, the upgrades allow the company to provide “more effective operational support and ongoing maintenance of the network”.

BP Pulse will work together with local authorities to deliver the upgrades. It will focus on early chargers that, it claims, were installed a decade ago without “long-term sustainability in mind” and have suffered from underinvestment.

At the time, de Renzi said: “While we remain focused on expanding our network, in particular with the proliferation of convenient ultra-fast charging, we know that many of the issues experienced by drivers come from legacy charging infrastructure, so our investment in upgrading it will significantly improve the experience of EV drivers across the country.”

BP Pulse is one of several energy firms devoted to improving the UK’s charger network. In February, energy giant Shell promised a huge expansion of its EV charging network, with a goal of reaching 500,000 chargers worldwide by 2025. By the end of this year, it plans to have a total of 200 rapid and ultra-rapid units on forecourts across the UK.

BP Pulse was created in 2018 when oil company BP bought Chargemaster – the largest EV charging network in the UK – for £130m, and it was renamed BP Pulse last December.

It recently secured a £21m deal to supply more than 1000 EV chargers to Police Scotland.


Shell pledges massive expansion of EV charging network 

Shell targets grid-restricted EV forecourts with 360kWh battery 

BP Chargemaster nets £21m Police Scotland EV charging deal

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Strider 1 April 2021

That does seem to be a tiny investment in technology that will be outdated in the blink of an eye. It would be interesting to know more about BP's strategy and business model for BP Pulse. 

streaky 29 March 2021

I feel uneasy about having BP and Shell muscling in on the provision of EV chargers across the country.  Obviously they can forsee the rug being slowly pulled from under their previous profiteering with petrol and diesel supplies.  Lest we forget, these are the companies that increase pump prices immediately crude oil prices go up, but, strangely, are extremely tardy in reducing them when crude oil goes down.  They are also guilty of constantly charging rip-off prices at motorway service stations where they perceive a captive audience well away from supermarket filling stations.  I hate to think what excessive electricity charges they'll be scheming for EV users.

xxxx 29 March 2021

A good starting point for all companies coming into this market is not having to be member and the charger accepts credit cards, that is it.