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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.

The details:

  • "Chargemaster is the largest supplier of public, workplace and home charging units in the UK and has supplied over 50,000 charging points across Europe," the announcement notes.
  • A BP spokesperson told Axios the cost of the acquisition will be roughly $170 million.
  • The company will be rebranded BP Chargemaster.

Context: Last year Shell bought the big European EV charging company NewMotion, while last month BP announced a $20 million investment in the Israel-based fast-charging battery company Storedot.

The bottom line: BP says it's a good fit with its retail fuel stations across the country.

  • "BP believes that to accelerate the adoption of EVs, customers will require convenient access to fast and ultra-fast charging. BP’s UK retail network is well positioned to provide this access with over 1,200 service stations across the country," the company said Thursday.

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.