BP to Give Uber Drivers VIP Treatment at EV Charging Stations

The oil major’s BP Pulse business is taking its partnership with the ride-hailing service global.

(Bloomberg) — Uber Technologies Inc. needs more public stations that its drivers can pull up to for quick charges. BP Plc needs more regular customers racking up lots of miles in electric vehicles and returning to its plugs for a jolt.

So it’s no wonder the ride-hailing service and the oil major’s EV charging subsidiary have made for an ideal match.

On Friday, BP Pulse announced plans to take a two-year-old partnership global, broadening a relationship that helped make London the leading city globally for Uber’s efforts to electrify the vehicles on its network.

In key markets across Europe, the US and the UK, BP Pulse will set aside more dedicated lanes for Uber drivers at charging hubs like the one it opened two years ago in central London. Uber also will integrate BP Pulse into its driver rewards program, offering high-usage drivers lower rates at the plug.

“The scale of what we’re trying to do together is pretty big,” Richard Bartlett, BP Pulse’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “If you take 5 million-plus monthly active drivers, and you assume that you want all of those driving an electric vehicle over a certain timeline, the amount of terawatt-hours of power required is pretty material.”

It will take more than 50,000 dedicated charge points to electrify a fleet as big as Uber’s, Bartlett said, which requires billions of dollars of investment. BP Pulse will shoulder the infrastructure investment, while Uber will promote its partner’s network of chargers in its driver app.

Uber is aiming for all ride on its platform to be done in electric vehicles by 2040, while BP’s goal is to become a net-zero company by 2050.

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