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BP and Chinese firm launch electric vehicle charging joint venture

Energy giant BP has taken another step forward in its quest to secure a major chunk of the global electric vehicle (EV) charging market.

The UK-headquartered firm has formed a new joint venture with China’s Didi Chuxing (DiDi), the world’s leading mobile transportation platform with 550 million users.

Last year, BP bought the UK’s largest EV charging company, Chargemaster – now called BP Chargemaster.

The new venture will build EV charging infrastructure in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.

The joint venture will develop standalone, reliable and high-quality charging hubs to provide EV charging services to DiDi’s drivers and the public.

Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s downstream chief executive, said: “As the world’s largest EV market, China offers extraordinary opportunities to develop innovative new businesses at scale and we see this as the perfect partnership for such a fast-evolving environment.

“The lessons we learn here will help us further expand BP’s advanced mobility business worldwide, helping drive the energy transition and develop solutions for a low carbon world.

“Combining BP’s global retail capability, EV charging expertise and experience with DiDi’s unrivalled mobility service platform, our partnership will aggregate demand and provide high-quality, fast, reliable and safe charging for DiDi drivers and the public in China.

“DiDi is already converting to electric vehicles and has a very large user base, so we expect to drive high utilisation of charging assets from Day One.”

Cheng Wei, chairman and CEO of DiDi, said: “We look forward to combining our strengths to create a robust EV charging network for China, promote the growth of the new energy automotive industry, and provide better experience for car owners across the country.”

BP and DiDi have already opened a pilot site in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, with ten fast-charging units, ranging from 60-120kW.

This site will migrate into the joint venture once live. The venture aims to expand rapidly, with an ambition to quickly become the leading EV charging provider in China.

China is the world’s largest and fastest-developing EV market with around 50% of the world’s battery electric vehicles (BEVs) today.

By 2030, around 80% of EV charging in China is expected to be done at destination, forecourt and fleet hub charge points.

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