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Moving up a gear: BP purchases Chargemaster

Jacob Briggs Analyst

The purchase of Chargemaster – the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company – by BP for £130mn marked a significant development in the oil major’s entry into the EV space. This is the latest in a series of EV-related acquisitions from BP, including moves that build its “mobility as a service” capabilities. Chargemaster provides significant charging infrastructure, including the 6,500-point POLAR public network, over 30,000 domestic customers, and a range of partnerships with businesses, governments and vehicle manufacturers. BP stated that it has initial plans to use this to install rapid chargers across its 1,200 petrol forecourts. Chargemaster previously explored an IPO this year, which was targeting a valuation of £170mn. The move marks the entry of another energy company into the EV charging market, bearing similarities with Shell’s purchase of New Motion in October 2017. Although BP has not yet followed Shell into domestic energy supply, it does hold 24% of small supplier Pure Planet. As BP has shown with its recent purchase and partnership strategy (see below), it is possible to build significant energy services capabilities without owning of a supply licence. In December 2017, BP took a 43% stake in solar and ...

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