After Shell partnered with an electric car charging station manufacturer to deploy charging infrastructure at its gas station last month, BP is now in talks with automakers to do the same.
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Chief Executive Bob Dudley confirmed the new strategy to Reuters on Tuesday:
“We have discussions going on with a lot of the EV manufacturers to have a tie-up with our retail network for charging,”
He admitted that the future is going electric, but that the company is only tentatively entering the EV business:
“We’ll be ready for this world but we’re not going to dive in too deeply,”
BP previously burned itself on bad solar investments and now Dudley says the company is more careful about new ventures.
While they are obviously being careful and not outright calling the end of fossil fuels, it’s clear that they are preoccupied with the electric vehicle revolution and don’t want to be left out.
In a future where the world’s car fleet is rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles, gas stations will be forcefully downgraded to simple convenience stores and consequently, they will lose a significant revenue stream brought in by people stopping for gas but buying something at the convenience store.
While these service stations are not the necessarily the ideal places for EV drivers to charge, they represent significant real estate locations owned by people that will become incentivized to deploy charging stations.
In BP’s case, they have over 18,000 service stations around the world. Interestingly, they are looking to partner with “EV manufacturers” instead of charging network operators, which has previously been the case with other companies.
Aside from Tesla, automakers don’t have proprietary charging networks beyond some charging stations at their dealerships.
It could potentially mark an interesting shift.