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BP buys electric vehicle charging firm Chargemaster

A BP charging station for electric vehicles
What the rebranded BP Chargemaster may look like. Photo: BP

Oil-and-gas giant BP announced Thursday that it's buying the U.K.'s largest electric vehicle charging network, Chargemaster, for roughly $170 million.

The big picture: The move comes amid efforts by European regulators to bolster the share of EVs on roads. BP estimates that by 2040 there will be 12 million EVs on U.K. roads, up from 135,000 last year.

More broadly, it's the latest sign of European-based oil majors making increasing investments in the electricity and EV space, although it remains a very small part of their overall budgets.