LONDON—Daimler Mobility AG and BMW Group strengthened Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS) by adding bp as the third shareholder with a stake of 33.3%. DCS is a leading developer of digital charging software for automotive manufacturers and vehicle fleet operators. Its in-car software integration provides EV drivers with access to one of Europe’s largest charging networks.
DCS already offers access to 228,000 charging points in 32 countries. The addition of bp is expected to provide DCS customers access to an additional 8,700 charging points across Europe including ultra-fast charging (more than 150kW) and develop new integrated offers for fleets (including Fuel & Charge) as a first step. The partners intend to drive forward the transition to electrification.
“Our aim is to make charging as convenient as refueling at the pump—fast, reliable and a great customer experience,” said Richard Bartlett, bp senior vice president of future mobility and solutions, in a press release. “Joining forces with BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in DCS, combined with the expansion of our ultra-fast charging network, will help provide drivers access to convenient charging where they need it. It also gives us access to a much wider customer base, ultimately driving up utilization rates on our network.”
As part of the agreement, bp’s European charging networks will be integrated into the DCS software system as well as Fuel & Charge for fleet customers, as a first step. Electrification is at the heart of bp’s convenience and mobility strategy, and the company aims to grow its network of public EV charging points by 2030 to over 70,000 worldwide. bp currently has around 8,700 charging points in Europe and its United Kingdom network bp pulse is already the most-used EV charging network in the U.K. The company is also rapidly growing its network of ultra-fast chargers and plans to have around 250 ultra-fast chargers operating at bp retail sites in the United Kingdom and 500 ultra-fast charging points across its Aral retail sites in Germany by year’s end.
Overall, demand for gasoline is expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels, according to the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast. Driving the change is a worldwide shift toward EVs and greater fuel efficiency, the IEA said in its five-year forecast. Automakers like GM and Ford are switching to a focus on EV production, while retailers, like Thailand’s PTT Oil and Retail Business are banking on motorists’ stocking up on two different kinds of fuel—electric and coffee.
Last week, the Florida Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development passed a new fee on electric and hybrid vehicles as well as a proposal to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state. In February, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said it was drafting a regulation that would require automakers to offer more electric vehicles for sale in the state as a way to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that cause lung problems.
Adequate charging infrastructure is one hurdle governments worldwide are having in driving an increase in EVs on the road. To assist governments and policymakers working to integrate policies to encourage EV ownership, the Fuels Institute has released “Policy Considerations: Proposals to Ban the Sale of Combustion Engine Vehicles” as a tool to prompt discussion and careful consideration of the impacts their policies may have on the fuel industry.
Be sure to check out more insights regarding summertime gasoline prices in this week’s episode of Convenience Matters.