BP: Acquisition of Chargemaster
The British based oil company BP, formerly known as British Petroleum, has acquired Chargemaster, the owner of United Kingdom's largest charging points network. BP is known to have paid £130m (over $171m) for the acquisition of the electric charging points operator.
BP operates over 18000 gas stations worldwide, 1200 of which are located in the United Kingdom. According to the Financial Times, the strategic move is part of a pledge to put $500m/year into low-carbon investments, in order to safeguard against the uncertain future of energy. According to Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO of BP's downstream division, "smaller, strategic deals will ensure BP thrives regardless of how the energy mix changes and how technological advances disrupt the transport industry".
The move by BP comes as no surprise: the French company, Total, acquired the Dutch company PitPoint last year: PitPoint is a market leader in alternative fuels, with a network of 100 natural gas fuelling stations. In a similar vein, Royal Dutch Shell acquired NewMotion last year, the owner of Europe's largest electric vehicle charging network.
The repositioning of oil companies as "cleaner energy" companies is largely dictated by changes in the automotive space. Automotive manufactures, such as General Motors, have announced, one after the other, that they are moving towards an all-electric future - GM, in particular, aims to have at least 20 EVs out by 2023. The trend is also observed at the public transportation level: New York City recently made public their plans to have an all-electric bus fleet by 2040.