The news many people have been waiting for.
It might be hard to realize for some that fully electric vehicles are becoming mainstream. Major automakers like General Motors, Volvo, Bentley, and Jaguar have already committed to all-electric vehicle lineups. Many others are on the cusp of doing so. Battery-electrics, like the new Chevy Silverado EV and Ford Mustang Mach-E, are the future and internal combustion engines are heading for retirement. This new reality has major implications for other auto-related industries, specifically oil producers.
Reuters reports that British Petroleum (BP) says its fast EV chargers will very soon be more profitable than filling up gasoline-powered vehicles. BP's EV charging division says it's not expecting to turn a profit before 2025.
"If I think about a tank of fuel versus a fast charge, we are nearing a place where the business fundamentals on the fast charge are better than they are on the fuel," said Emma Delaney, BP's head of customers and products. What's suddenly caused this shift? One thing has been the increasing demand for rapid battery chargers in the UK and Europe.
Overseas, those two vital markets have already delivered profit margins very close to those of traditional gas stations. The rapid rise in EV charging demand and profitability is quite the contrast to just a few years ago. EV chargers and their expansion had been losing money for BP and its rivals for years. The tide is now shifting.
For example, BP claims that electricity sales for EV charging increased by 45 percent in the third business quarter of 2021 over the second quarter. BP now aims to dramatically expand its EV charging division in the next few years. There are presently around 11,000 chargers and this will increase to 70,000 by 2030. "Overall, we see a huge opportunity in fast charging for consumers and businesses, as well as fleet services more generally - that's where we see the growth, and where we see the margins," Delaney added.
One of BP's main rivals, Shell, to compare, wants to have 500,000 charging points globally by 2025. In fact, it just inaugurated its first ultra-fast charging station, located in London, last week. It's capable of charging an EV's battery to 80 percent in only 10 minutes.