French energy company Total is set to acquire BluePointLondon Limited, which operates the largest network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in the capital. Total says it has completed negotiations with Bolloré Group, the parent French transportation firm.
BluePointLondon’s network of on-street charging points for EVs was launched in 2010 and has since grown to 1,600 charging points, amounting to over half of London’s total. While it may seem counter-intuitive for an oil company to invest in EV infrastructure, the move reflects a shift in focus of the company towards a broader range of business, with it aiming to have 150,000 charging points by 2025 in various European major cities. Total also makes a range of products to meet the specific lubricant and coolant needs of EVs.
Total is also seeking to counter a common criticism of EVs, namely the situation of EVs running on electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. Its Total Gas & Power energy subsidiary will instead supply the charging points entirely with renewable energy.
Total’s Marketing and Services President, Alexis Vovk, said about the acquisition:
“By combining today these existing infrastructures with Total’s know-how in terms of installation, operation and management of public electric vehicle charging networks, we are starting a new phase, supporting the expansion of electric mobility in London.”
He added that the company will cooperate with local authorities and other partners to satisfy the shifting mobility needs of the capital and the growing demand for charging points on its streets.