Speaking to the Financial Times, BP’s head of future mobility and solutions, Richard Bartlett, has said that rather than considering the number of charging points for electric vehicles (EVs), the Government should look at the total capacity instead if it wants to drive the uptake of EVs.
He argues that having fewer chargers capable of rapid charging is more economically feasible than building a much larger network that includes many slower chargers:
“You don’t supply much power. It’s a lot of maintenance when they go wrong…[and] customers get frustrated…so we believe it’s more efficient for the grid, and the customer, to concentrate in fewer but larger latest-tech deployments…We have a deep conviction that the focus should be on high-speed charging, fast and ultrafast.”
For example, BP, which also makes the Castrol ON coolant fluids and lubricants for EVs, has ultrafast chargers that, when used for a third of a day, can provide 1,000kWh of charging, compared to just 40kWh for a lamppost charger. It therefore comes as little surprise that fast and ultrafast chargers accounted for 95% of BP’s EV energy sales in the first quarter, despite these chargers only representing about half of its global charging network.
Bartlett says that the Government has historically emphasised the raw number of charge points over the actual total capacity. In his vision of future mobility, EVs will be charged at coincidental destinations like cinemas and supermarkets or strategically located hubs on key routes, as well as at home where possible.