BP and China’s Didi Chuxing (DiDi) announce they are forming a new joint venture to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. The new joint venture plans to develop a network of EV charging hubs across the country.
The ride-hailing and car-sharing platform Didi has approximately 550 million users, and around 600,000 EVs are running on it in China.
The joint venture with BP will develop standalone, reliable and high-quality charging hubs to provide EV charging services to DiDi’s drivers and the public. The partners also intend to expand the venture into loyalty and convenience offerings and other fleet services in the near future.
“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,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s Downstream chief executive. “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.”
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
“Combining BP’s global retail capability, EV charging expertise and experience with DiDi’s unrivalled mobility service platform, our partnership will aggregate demand and provide high-quality, fast, reliable and safe charging for DiDi drivers and the public in China. DiDi is already converting to electric vehicles and has a very large user base, so we expect to drive high utilisation of charging assets from Day One.”
Cheng Wei, Chairman and CEO of DiDi, 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.”
BP and DiDi have already opened a pilot site in Guangzhou in Guangdong province, with ten fast-charging units ranging from 60-120kW. This site will migrate into the joint venture once live. The venture aims to expand rapidly, with an ambition to quickly become the leading EV charging provider in China.
China is the world’s largest and fastest-developing EV market with around 50 percent of the world’s BEVs today. By 2030, we expect around 80 percent of EV charging in China to be done at destination, forecourt and fleet hub charge points.
Following the acquisition in 2018 of BP Chargemaster, a British electric vehicle charging company, BP is now beginning to roll out of ultra-fast chargers at sites in the UK. BP has also invested in innovative fast-charging battery technology firm StoreDot.
In China, this work already includes an investment in NIO Capital’s investment fund focused on China’s new energy vehicle ecosystem and also an equity investment in PowerShare, which offers an online platform connecting EV drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers.
Yang Xiaoping, BP China chairman and president, added: “China offers tremendous growth opportunities for BP. Partnering with DiDi enables BP to actively contribute to China’s fast-growing EV charging market with differentiated offers, and also to further expand our business footprint in the country.”