BP’s EV charging subsidiary, bp pulse, has entered into a deal with Tesla, which will see the acquisition of Tesla’s ultra-fast charging hardware units for a sum of $100m.

This strategic investment is poised to serve dual purposes: first, it will significantly bolster the expansion of the bp pulse public charging network throughout the US. Secondly, it will enable the provision of essential support for electric vehicle (EV) fleet customers by deploying these advanced chargers at their private depots.

This collaboration marks the debut of Tesla’s hardware being purchased for an independent EV charging network.

The roll-out of Tesla’s ultra-fast chargers is scheduled to commence in 2024. These chargers will be strategically located at key sites affiliated with the bp family of brands.

Among these sites are TravelCenters of America, Thorntons, ampm, and Amoco, in addition to bp pulse’s extensive Gigahub charging sites in major metropolitan areas. Furthermore, the Tesla chargers will also find their place at third-party locations, including Hertz facilities, as part of previously disclosed partnerships.

The initial installation sites have already been identified in prominent cities such as Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

In a unique and innovative move, Tesla’s chargers will also be integrated into select bp pulse fleet customer depots. This integration will capitalize on bp pulse’s industry-leading intelligent charge management software, Omega.

The fusion of Omega with Tesla’s fast and dependable chargers will grant bp pulse the distinctive ability to oversee the complete charging process for EV fleets, thereby providing a comprehensive and seamless solution for its fleet customers.

bp pulse global CEO Richard Bartlett said: “Strengthening the bp pulse network with Tesla’s industry-leading hardware is a major step forward in our ambitions for high speed, open access charging infrastructure in the US and advances our ambition to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

“Combined with our vast network of convenience and mobility sites on and off the highway, this collaboration with Tesla will bring fast and reliable charging to EV drivers when and where they need it.”

These Tesla ultra-fast chargers, boasting an impressive output of 250 kW, will be prominently branded, installed, and operated by bp pulse. They will also be equipped with Tesla’s ‘Magic Dock,’ a technology that caters to both North American Charging Standard (NACS) and Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.

This dual compatibility ensures that EVs from a range of major vehicle manufacturers can utilize the Tesla chargers within bp pulse’s network, irrespective of their CCS or NACS port configurations.

In addition, the Tesla chargers will support the use of the Plug and Charge protocol, simplifying and automating payment processes. Notably, these third-party-operated ultra-fast chargers that meet Tesla’s stringent reliability and functionality criteria will be featured within Tesla’s vehicle UI and apps, with bp pulse committed to upholding these requirements on its network.

Tesla charging infrastructure senior director Rebecca Tinucci said: “At Tesla, we’re driven to enable great charging experiences for all EV owners. Selling our fast-charging hardware is a new step for us, and one we’re looking to expand in support of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

“We appreciate bp’s partnership in this area – it’s the right step towards a more sustainable future.”  

Beyond this pioneering collaboration with Tesla, bp pulse has ambitious plans to expand its network by deploying more fast and reliable charging points at high-demand locations. These include airports, major metropolitan areas, and properties owned by bp along Alternative Fueling Corridors.

Notably, bp has secured grant funds through programmes like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to facilitate the establishment of charging infrastructure at sites in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Kentucky.

In February 2023, bp made a significant commitment to invest $1bn in America’s EV charging infrastructure by 2030, with the aim of directing $500m into this venture within the next two to three years.

This commitment aligns with bp’s strategic focus on five transition growth engines, which include bioenergy, convenience, EV charging through bp pulse, hydrogen, and renewables and power. These sectors constituted approximately 30% of bp’s total investment in 2022, a substantial increase from around 3% in 2019.