BP invests in Chinese EV charging start-up

BP has signed a deal with Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing to build a new network of electric-vehicle charging hubs in China.

Didi Chuxing is China’s biggest app-based ride-haling start-up and the deal is the latest in a long line of EV start-ups to win the backing of an oil major.

The deal will see BP develop charging hubs for Didi drivers, offering multiple fast charging points as well as convenience store services.

BP is planning to deploy as many as 200 charging hubs in a string of Chinese cities before the end of 2020, the company has announced.

The oil major is aiming to scale the venture upwards dramatically during the next five years and plans to become a market leader in China by installing thousands of hubs across the country.

BP is currently in the process of developing unmanned and remote controlled EV hubs that will operate separately from BP’s 700 Chinese retail sites.

The Chinese electric vehicle market is growing quickly, and the country is already home to over half of all electric vehicles owned globally.

Earlier in the year, BP announced that it would invest in Chinese start-up PowerShare, a grid balancing service that connects EVs to charging points while acting so as not to overload the electricity grid.

Most notably, BP has invested in Britain’s largest EV charging business Chargemaster, which is developing chargers to install on the oil major’s forecourts.