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.

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