CATL Avatr & BP Partner on High-speed EV Charging in China
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CATL Avatr & BP Partner on EV Charging

BP claims EV charging stations ‘on the cusp’ of being more profitable than gas pumps

Chinese tech giants CATL are joining forces with British Petroleum (BP) to bring high-speed EV charging to more drivers in China.

Avatr Technology is a high-end smart electric vehicle brand that’s jointly owned by Chinese carmaker Changan Automobile and battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL). Recently, Avatr announced that it will partner with BP to create a fast-charging network in China, where every station will have a charging power of 480 kW and thus could conceivably charge up around 200 km (124 miles) of range in 10 minutes.

The first of these fast chargers will launch later this year in major metropolitan areas like Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. Avatr and BP plan to build 100 charging sites across 19 Chinese cities by the end of 2023. Customers will interact with the chargers via the Avatr app.

A single pile at these Avatr-BP charging stations will have 240 kW of power, which, handily enough, is the amount that the Avatr 11 electric SUV can handle. (What a coincidence! —Ed.)


Avatr 11 Electric SUV Crossover

Avatar 011 four-door crossover: production version

This is not the only partnership that BP has formed in the Chinese EV space. Back in 2019, BP announced that it was developing a charging network with vehicle-for-hire company DiDi Chuxing. As of 2020, BP had approximately 35,000 charging stations in China.

Considering that earlier this year BP admitted that EV charging could be more profitable than gas pumps, the UK oil giant would have quite the vested interest in building more charging stations. At least that means it could help with wider EV adoption if we can see and access more spots to charge up!

And, no, you didn’t read that wrong. “If I think about a tank of fuel versus a fast charge, we are nearing a place where the business fundamentals on the fast charge are better than they are on the (fossil) fuel,” BP head of customers and products, Emma Delaney, told Reuters in January. And, while Delaney did not disclose precisely when BP expects EV charging profits to eclipse traditional fuel profits, she did report that BP’s electricity sales for charging grew by more than 45% from Q2 to Q3 of last year, alone. “Overall, we see a huge opportunity in fast charging for consumers and businesses, as well as fleet services more generally,” explains Delaney. “That’s where we see the growth, and where we see the margins.”





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