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VW Group, bp partner to accelerate EV fast-charging roll-out across Europe

bp CEO Bernard Looney and Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess during the launch of bp / Aral flexpole fast charger. (Source: bp)

Volkswagen and bp have launched a strategic partnership that will boost the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe, unveiling their first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The partnership aims to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a fast-charging network across Europe by 2024 and delivering a seamless experience for EV drivers.

Volkswagen's Flexpole 150kW charging units, each of which features two charge points, have an integrated battery storage system, thereby overcoming one of the biggest obstacles to the rapid roll-out of fast charging infrastructure in Europe today—the need for high-powered grid connections.

The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, significantly reducing installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW—enough to deliver up to 160km of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of an electric vehicle.

The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at bp's Aral retail sites in Germany and bp retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end of 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK, and other European countries.

Bernard Looney, chief executive officer, bp stated "EV charging is one of the key engines driving bp's transformation to an integrated energy company. That's why we're so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen. When you bring together one of the world's leading carmakers and one of the world's leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge."

bp is rapidly expanding its EV charging network, including its extensive and conveniently located network of retail sites. EV drivers will be able to charge in safe, well-lit stations with access to additional services such as food and drink for their journeys, as well as toilets.

The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat, and Skoda vehicles as well as into Volkswagen's charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points. Any EV driver will be able to use the new chargers as part of the bp pulse and Aral pulse network enabling all EV drivers to sign up and collect rewards from bp/Aral loyalty programs.

Under the terms of their agreement, VW and bp will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.

Author : Moulin Oza
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