London: British energy major BP agreed Thursday to buy the nation’s largest electric vehicle charging firm, as it bets on booming demand over next two decades.
The announcement mirrors similar moves by Anglo-Dutch rival Shell and France’s Total to diversify into the so-called EV market.
“BP today announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company,” it said in a statement.
The deal, which is for an undisclosed amount, will see BP expand its charging network at the group’s 1,200 petrol stations across Britain.
The oil giant aims to become the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles.
Chargemaster was founded ten years ago and now operates 6,500 electric vehicle rapid charging points across Britain, making it the country’s number one player.
The company — which is based in Luton north of London — designs, builds, sells and maintains electric car charging units for a range of locations.
BP meanwhile predicts the number of electric vehicles on UK roads will surge to 12 million by 2040. That contrasts with around 135,000 in 2017.
The transaction will see the rapid charging specialist rebranded as BP Chargemaster.
“Bringing together the UK’s leading fuel retailer and its largest charging company, BP Chargemaster will deliver a truly differentiated offer for the country’s growing number of electric vehicle owners,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, boss of BP’s downstream division that comprises refining, marketing and distribution.