BP is to roll out mobile chargers on its forecourts after investing more than £3.5 million in Freewire Technologies, an American start-up that makes fast-charging units on wheels.
The oil company bought an equity stake in Freewire Technologies, an American start-up that makes fast-charging units on wheels, and said it would install the first in London soon.
Freewire’s Mobi Charger can be wheeled away and plugged in at a new location in response to customer usage.
This differs to other EV chargers – which are fixed to the ground – requiring companies to commit to the installation cost based on estimates of likely demand in an area.
BP said that it would test the new units at its forecourts in the UK and Europe.
Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive of BP Downstream, said: “Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future. EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business, but customer demand and the technologies available are still evolving.
“Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.”
This latest deal by BP is the firm’s first acquisition in the electric vehicle sector, though it has already installed almost 20 fixed EV chargers at its stations in the UK.
Arcady Sosinov, chief executive of FreeWire Technologies, said: “We applaud BP’s commitment to providing a wide range of charging methods for its global customer base.
“We are thrilled that BP, which is such a significant provider of transportation infrastructure, has acknowledged the promise of our solution through this investment and partnership.”