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

Updated 9 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.