Volkswagen and BP have launched a strategic partnership that will boost the adoption of electric vehicles across Europe, unveiling the first charger in Dusseldorf, Germany. The partners say they aim to transform access to EV charging in key European markets by rapidly building a fast charging network across Europe by 2024.
Volkswagen’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, each of which feature two charge points, have an integrated battery storage system, which the company says overcomes one of the biggest obstacles to the rapid rollout of fast-charging infrastructure in Europe today — the need for high-powered grid connections. The Flexpole units can be directly connected to a low-voltage grid which removes the requirement for a dedicated substation and costly construction work, significantly reducing installation times while still providing fast charging speeds of up to 150kW, enough to deliver up to 160km (approx. 99 miles) of driving in as little as 10 minutes, depending on the model of electric vehicle, the company says.
The first phase of the rollout will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points at BP’s Aral retail sites in Germany and BP retail sites in the UK over the next 24 months. By the end 2024, up to 8,000 charge points could be available across Germany, the UK and other European countries, the company says.
The charger locations will be integrated into the navigation and other in-car apps of VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles, as well as into Volkswagen’s charging application, Elli, making it easier for drivers to find available charging points.