BP, Volkswagen unveil details of e-car charging partnership

DUSSELDORF, April 28 (Reuters) - BP (BP.L) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) on Thursday fleshed out details of their electric vehicle charging alliance, aiming to jointly install 8,000 fast-charging spots across Europe by 2024 in a bid to stoke demand for battery-powered vehicles.

In a first phase of the partnership, which was initially unveiled at Volkswagen's Power Day in March 2021, 4,000 charging points could be installed at BP's Aral retail sites in Germany and BP retail sites in Britain over the next 24 months.

By end-2024, up to 8,000 spots could be available across Europe, the companies said, unveiling the first charger of their joint initiative in the German city of Dusseldorf.

The fast-chargers will have a capacity of as much as 150 kilowatts (kW), which can deliver a meaningful charge for a range of around 160 kilometres (100 miles) in just over 10 minutes and might hep fix the issue of range anxiety that still weighs on demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

"EV charging is one of the key engines driving BP's transformation to an integrated energy company," BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said. "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."

Volkswagen, which has similar charging partnerships with Spain's Iberdrola and Italy's Enel (ENEI.MI), aims to overtake Tesla (TSLA.O) as the world's largest EV seller.

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

"Rapid expansion of the charging network is crucial now," Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen's board member in charge of technology, said. "To make that happen, our pioneering flexible, fast chargers offer a perfect solution, since the time and costs required for installation are minimal."

Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Marguerita Choy

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