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Didi Partners With BP To Build EV Charging Network

Didi Chuxing President Jean Liu

Photo by World Economic Forum / Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary via CC BY 2.0 license

China's Didi Chuxing and British oil giant BP have teamed up to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in China, the world's biggest market for electric vehicles. Both companies announced this in a joint press release earlier today. BP and Didi have set up a joint venture to build a network of EV charging facilities across China. The charging infrastructure will be made available to both Didi's drivers and the general public.

BP, although with a major presence in the oil and gas sector, has been keen on several efforts in the renewable energy industry. Some of its recent moves in the industry include a last year $170 million acquisition of British EV charging company Chargemaster, a $10 million investment in a fund set up by Chinese EV maker NIO, and an investment in Chinese EV charging startup PowerShare.

BP and Didi have already set up a test EV charging site in Guangzhou, a populous city in China. The site has ten fast-charging EV units, with ratings ranging from 60-120kW. Once Didi and BP's joint venture goes live, the test site will become part of it. Both companies aim for the joint venture to "expand rapidly".

BP CEO Bob Dudley

image: Bartolomej Tomic on Flickr

China is a key EV market, with 50% of the world's electric vehicles located in the country. By 2030, around 80% of EV charging in China is expected to be done at destination, fleet hub, and forecourt charge points, making BP's target a strategic one. BP already maintains a large presence in the fuel-retail industry, with more than 18,700 sites across 18 countries. The company will likely channel that experience into setting up retail charging hubs in China.

“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.” BP’s Downstream chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic, said in a statement. “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.” He 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.” Didi CEO Cheng Wei added.



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