Jan 24, 2019

BP moves into China's electric vehicle charging market

BP is investing in PowerShare. Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

BP is investing in PowerShare, a 4-year-old Chinese startup providing a digital platform that "connects [electric vehicle] drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers," BP said today.

Why it matters: The funding amount in the Series A round was not disclosed, but it signals the interest in getting a stake in the world's largest market for EVs and its infrastructure.

  • Of note: It's the first direct investment in China by BP Ventures, the company's VC arm.

Details: BP's announcement says PowerShare's tech is a way to help manage the growing role of EV's in electricity infrastructure.

  • "PowerShare's cloud-based system also allows power suppliers to optimise their operations by continuously monitoring and balancing the power demand from vehicles with the supply capacity of the grid," it states.
  • Reuters reports, "With China targeting sales of more than 7 million EVs by 2025, the need to manage demand and distribution of power on the grid, particularly at times of peak demand, will be crucial."

The big picture: The investment is the latest sign of European-based multinational oil-and-gas giants getting increasingly involved in the EV charging space. Some other examples are...

  • BP's purchase last year of the U.K. charging network Chargemaster and investment in the fast-charging startup StoreDot.
  • Shell's 2017 purchase of the charging company NewMotion.
  • Total's 2018 acquisition of the charging firm G2mobility.

But, but, but: Investments in low-carbon and emerging energy tech and companies — including renewables and EV infrastructure — remains a very small part of oil majors' portfolios.

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 28 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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