The £130 million purchase of Chargemaster by BP will see the company “enhance and accelerate” its deployment programme and triple its manufacturing capabilities over the next 12-18 months, according to the company’s director of strategy.
Speaking to Current± this morning following the announcement of the 100% purchase by the oil and gas giant, Chargemaster’s Tom Callow revealed how the deal would allow the company to stay ahead of its UK market competitors.
“This is not about catch-up, this is about staying ahead of everyone else in the UK marketplace and really retaining our number one position,” he said.
“Clearly it’s a very positive move for BP but it’s hugely positive for Chargemaster. We have a very ambitious growth strategy for the future and what this deal does is enhance and accelerate that programme.”
In March the company, which operates the largest public network in the UK with over 6,500 chargers, said it would provide around 25,000 by the end of 2020 with 2,000 new chargers – including 400 rapids – added to the POLAR network by the end of 2018.
Under the deal, chargers will now also be rolled out at BP’s 1,200 petrol station forecourts in the UK over the next 12 months. Callow was unable to provide details on the number of new chargers planned, but said EV drivers in the UK can expect the new chargers to form part of Chargemaster’s broader roll-out plan.
The company’s existing partnerships will remain unaffected, with the renewable electricity supply deal with OVO Energy announced last year set to continue. The existing methods of access for EV drivers – either a pay-as-you-go platform or a monthly subscription – will also remain in place, although any changes in pricing for the former are still to be determined.
Callow explained: “It’s all about opportunity rather than any specific changes at this stage, it is very much about growth of the business. The advantage for us is that we can tap into BP’s retail network and their relationships and really we think their ownership will strengthen our partnerships.”
To support the increased demand of its range of EV chargers, Chargemaster will also enact a plan to triple its UK manufacturing capabilities by moving from its Luton base to a new combined production and head office facility.
The location of this new facility has been confirmed and employees informed of the move, with a public announcement to follow within weeks.
Following the out-right purchase of BP Chargemaster as it will soon be called, and the acquisition of a 43% stake in UK solar developer Lightsource in December, BP has now committed £278 million to its low carbon activities.
In its ‘Advancing the energy transition’ report published in April, the company pledged to allocate at least US$500 million (£349 million) a year for such purposes.