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Volkswagen Group and energy giant bp have launched a strategic partnership that will aim to boost the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe, unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany. The partnership aims to rapidly building a fast charging network across Europe by 2024.
The roll-out will feature Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, each of which feature two charge points, and an integrated battery storage system.
The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, while 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 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.
bp’s charging network will be integrated into Volkswagen, ŠKODA and Seat/Cupra in-car dashboards ensuring drivers can find their nearest charger seamlessly.
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, says: “Volkswagen has been pioneering the transformation to e-mobility across Europe. Today we have the broadest offer of electric cars in the market and sold more EVs in the region than any other carmaker last year. Investing in everything from software, to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral. The decarbonization of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with bp to accelerate the rollout of the fast-charging network across Europe.”
Bernard Looney, bp’s chief executive officer, adds: “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 car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies – the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step-forward on our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe.”
Under the terms of their agreement, Volkswagen and bp say they will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.