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Volkswagen and BP join forces to rollout fast-charging network

Volkswagen and BP have joined forces to build a fast-charging network across Europe by 2024.

The first phase of the roll-out will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at BP’s Aral retail sites in Germany and BP retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months.

By end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries.

Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, each of which feature two charge points, have an integrated battery storage system.

The integrated battery storage system will help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to the rapid roll-out of fast charging infrastructure in Europe today - the need for high-powered grid connections, says Volkswagen.

The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, reducing installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 160km (100 miles) of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle (EV).

Herbert Diess (pictured), Volkswagen’s chief executive officer, said: “Investing in everything from software to batteries and charging is part of our strategy to make individual mobility safer, more convenient and fully climate-neutral.

“The decarbonisation of Europe’s economy requires close collaboration across borders and sectors. We’re pleased to team up with BP to accelerate the roll-out of the fast-charging network across Europe.”

BP is expanding its EV charging network, including at its network of retail sites. Bernard Looney (pictured), BP’s chief executive officer, said: “EV charging is one of the key engines driving BP’s transformation to an integrated energy company. That’s why we’re so excited by our partnership with Volkswagen.

“When you bring together one of the world’s leading car makers and one of the world’s leading energy companies - the opportunity is huge. This is a significant step-forward on our journey to accelerate the electrification of transport in Europe.”

The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda vehicles as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, to help drivers to find available charging points.

Any EV driver will be able to use the new chargers as part of the BP Pulse and Aral pulse network enabling all EV drivers to sign up and collect rewards from BP/Aral loyalty programs.

Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group and CEO of Volkswagen Group components, said: “Together with BP, we will bring thousands of fast-charging stations to life within a very short time.

“Rapid expansion of the charging network is crucial now. To make that happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer a perfect solution, since the time and costs required for installation are minimal.”

Emma Delaney, BP’s executive vice president customers and products, added: “The flexible battery-based chargers will accelerate BP’s fast charging network roll-out at our well-located sites in Europe.

“We are planning up to 4,000 additional charge points in Germany and the UK in the near term - a turbo-boost for our fast-charging network in these countries.”

Under the terms of their agreement, Volkswagen and BP will also look to pursue further opportunities together to provide future solutions for lower carbon mobility.

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