BP has announced that it is buying Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric charging network. While big news, the more interesting revelation is that in doing so it will start rolling out new ‘ultra-fast’ charging points across its entire network of petrol stations.
Charging is perhaps the weakest link for electric cars so if you’ve been sat on the fence about whether to buy one or not, this might be the news that sways you.
Chargemaster already has a network of around 6,500 charging points located at motorway services, NCP car parks, supermarket car parks and more. Many of these however are just standard charging ports, which mean you’re probably going to be sat waiting for a while if you plan on going anywhere far.
As a solution, BP says it will start rolling out a new range of 150kW ultra-fast charging stations that will be able to give you 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes.
Over the next 12 months the company will start installing these at its 1,200 service stations dotted around the UK.
While Chargemaster is the name that owns the network, customers will actually use them by signing up to the POLAR network.
By paying a monthly fee, POLAR customers can then access the entire network which ranges from free charging stations to some that will charge you per kWh.
According to BP POLAR already has around 40,000 customers whoever that’s expected to rise dramatically over the next decade as it predicts that there will be around 12 million electric cars on UK roads by 2040.
BP aren’t the only company investing in rapid charging technologies either. Swiss firm ABB claims it has built the world’s fastest charging solution that can provide a whopping 200km in just eight minutes.
Of course one of the biggest problems is many early electric cars simply can’t support this. However with huge brands like BMW, VW and Audi all signed up to a common ultra-fast charging standard this could be about to change sooner rather than later.