BP invests in mobile electric vehicle rapid charging business
BP announced that its venturing business has invested USD 5 million in FreeWire Technologies Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer of mobile electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging systems, and plans to roll out FreeWire’s Mobi Charger units for use at selected BP retail sites in the UK and Europe during 2018.
“Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future. EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business, but customer demand and the technologies available are still evolving,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP Downstream.
“Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.”
“We applaud BP’s commitment to providing a wide range of charging methods for its global customer base,” said Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. “The Mobi Charger can be quickly and cost-effectively scaled across vast transportation networks — flexibility that delivers benefits all along the EV charging value chain. We are thrilled that BP, which is such a significant provider of transportation infrastructure, has acknowledged the promise of our solution through this investment and partnership.”
BP is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy through focusing on reducing its own operational emissions, improving its products to enable customers to lower their emissions and creating low carbon businesses. BP Ventures supports each of these areas by identifying emerging trends and businesses, making strategic investments and testing technologies and solutions for their scalability.
Since 2006, BP Ventures has invested more than USD 400 million in corporate venturing and has 42 active investments in its current portfolio. BP Ventures’ portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. In addition, it has a renewed strategic focus on five key areas: bio & low carbon products, carbon management, power & storage, advanced mobility and digital transformation.
“BP first worked with FreeWire through the RocketSpace Tech Mobility Accelerator, and we believe its mobile fast charging technology will be one of a number of fuelling options that will be needed to address the future of lower carbon mobility,” said David Gilmour, vice president of BP Ventures. “We were encouraged by FreeWire’s expertise and their product. We are excited to be making this investment and to continue working with them, testing customer demand for the product and further developing the offering for the fast-growing EV supply equipment market.”
FreeWire is a technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California that specializes in mobile and networked energy storage. The company offers solutions for electric vehicle charging and mobile distributed power through the Mobi product line, which combines first-of-its-kind hardware with a user-focused software suite. FreeWire has established itself as a leader in the development, marketing, and distribution of affordable energy storage systems.