A major headache for fans of electric cars has long been why the big oil companies have rented the quieter parts of their stations to other charging companies, but have avoided direct involvement.
Tesla has bypassed the loophole with its own network of superchargers, and a bewildering array of smaller charging networks, apps and cards have bubbled up to fill the void.
But announcements on two continents over the past week show the wait situation is changing, with Royal Dutch Shell and General Motors connecting in the United States and BP purchasing a BMW-Daimler charging joint venture in Europe. .
Shell, in particular, is under pressure in its Dutch home country, with courts effectively ordering the energy giant to cut its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030.
Shell’s and GM’s MP2 Energy LLC tie-up will begin in Texas and ultimately aims to provide energy to all of GM’s customers, including fixed rate domestic plans and renewables.
It will have humble beginnings, with the primary focus being free overnight electric charging for GM EV drivers in Texas, based on fully renewable energy.
President Joe Biden announced a $ 174 billion proposal for the transition of the US fleet to electric cars, including the installation of half a million charging stations across the country.
Meanwhile, in Europe, BP bought out the joint venture Digital Charging Solutions GmbH founded by BMW and Daimler Mobility, each owning a third of the company.
He brought capital directly into the company as a buyout, he said in a statement, saying electrification was “at the heart of BP’s approach to mobility.”
After a slow start, BP plans to have more than 70,000 public charging stations around the world by 2030.
In addition to charging stations, DCS is working with other car manufacturers to integrate charging systems into their digital operating configurations.
It already operates the Charge Now brand and the Mercedes Me Charge, BMW Charging and Mini Charging operations, with an 85% claimed footprint in 29 European countries.
DCS plans to add 9,000 fast charging points and an additional 150 kW + via the BP, BP Pulse and Aral Pulse networks in Europe, as well as its Plug & Charge service.
“We are delighted to welcome BP as a strong partner who shares our vision of pushing electrification,” said Gero Götzenberger, director of digital mobility strategy and solutions for Daimler Mobility.
“By forming this strategic collaboration with one of the world’s largest energy companies, we will provide drivers with increased access to a convenient and transparent charging ecosystem where and when they need it, thus contributing to the electrical transformation of our society.” . “
The problem with all of this is that it doesn’t do much to address accusations that BP’s green washing is continuing at a brisk pace, with the decision to join the BMW and Daimler charging company simply acknowledging a business reality. more and more obvious.
BP is the company that invented the carbon footprint, encouraging companies to offset their CO2 emissions and thus creating a market for carbon credits.
The oil company is accused by many of using the carbon footprint narrative to absolve itself of greenhouse gas blame with what amounts to a public relations campaign to make individuals, rather than oil companies, responsible for emissions.
Paul Abela, of the Climate Conscious site, accused BP of creating a scheme designed to make money rather than solve the problem.
“Greenwashing gets worse when you think about how people are encouraged to reduce their footprint,” Abela wrote in September.
“Carbon offsetting initiatives have become increasingly popular. Carbon offsetting is a way to offset your emissions by financing an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere.
“A carbon offset company asks you various questions about your lifestyle and your consumption habits. They calculate your carbon footprint and you pay them to offset the emissions through an initiative such as planting trees in a forest.
“And the carbon offsetting market is about to take off, with an estimated value of US $ 100 billion by the end of the decade.”
That won’t stop BP from meeting the growing need to charge electric vehicles, however, BP’s senior vice president for future mobility and solutions insisting he wanted to make charging as easy as refueling. ‘a combustion car.
“Our goal is to make charging … fast, reliable, and highly integrated with the vehicle’s operating system to deliver a great customer experience,” Bartlett said.
“We are delighted to have completed this transaction and look forward to working with our partners to continue providing EV drivers with access to convenient charging where they need it. “
There is no word from Bartlett on BP’s U.S. plans, however, and the U.S. is lagging behind world leaders after the Trump presidency withdrew from the Paris Accords and overturned laws on it. fuel economy.