Tesla’s DC fast chargers are set to be deployed on an independent electric vehicle charging network for the first time ever, as BP orders $100 million worth of Tesla DC chargers for its BP Pulse network in North America.
The two companies announced the agreement on October 26, 2023, and expect that the first Tesla-made chargers will be installed across the BP Pulse network in the United States as early as 2024.
BP intends to deploy the new chargers at key BP, Amoco, ampm, and Thorntons-branded sites, TravelCenters of America locations, and at BP Pulse’s large-scale Gigahub charging sites near airports and major metropolitan areas across the US. This sounds like the beginning of the electrification of fuel stations. Additionally, the company will use the chargers for EV fleet customers by deploying chargers at their private depots. The first stations to be built will be in Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
BP says that the chargers –branded, installed, and operated by BP Pulse– will have an output of up to 250 kilowatts and will be fitted with the Tesla’s Magic Dock built-in charging adapter for CCS1-compatible electric cars, providing charging options for both NACS and CCS1 plugs. BP has ordered the all-new Tesla V4 charging dispensers, which Tesla just started to install in the US in its own Supercharging network.
Chargers are intended to support the Plug and Charge protocol, simplifying and automating payments. BP Pulse plans for its charging points to be featured in Tesla’s vehicle UI and apps, so Tesla drivers will be guided to the new charging points just like they are to Superchargers.
One interesting thing is that BP Pluse will combine Tesla’s hardware with its own “intelligent charge management software”, called Omega, which is used “to oversee the entire charging process for EV fleets, providing a comprehensive solution for its fleet customers.”
BP Pulse’s investment of $100 million is just the beginning of a much larger expansion, as the company intends to invest $1 billion in North America by the end of 2030, including $500 million in the next two to three years. The network currently consists of 27,000 charging points globally (but mostly in Europe and mainly AC rather than DC fast chargers). The goal for 2030 is to reach 100,000 charging points.
It will be very interesting to see whether the partnership will later expand and BP Pulse will order more Tesla chargers, as well as whether other charging networks will decide to buy Tesla charging equipment. Without a doubt, selling the charging hardware to other charging networks is a major move for Tesla.
Richard Bartlett, the global CEO of BP Pulse, said:
“Strengthening the bp pulse network with Tesla’s industry-leading hardware is a major step forward in our ambitions for high speed, open access charging infrastructure in the US and advances our ambition to delivering an exceptional customer experience. Combined with our vast network of convenience and mobility sites on and off the highway, this collaboration with Tesla will bring fast and reliable charging to EV drivers when and where they need it.”
Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure, said:
“At Tesla, we’re driven to enable great charging experiences for all EV owners. Selling our fast-charging hardware is a new step for us, and one we’re looking to expand in support of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. We appreciate bp’s partnership in this area – it’s the right step towards a more sustainable future.”
Said Sujay Sharma, the CEO of BP Pulse Americas, said:
“This is another example of how bp pulse is collaborating with leaders across the industry, in areas including real estate, charging technology and automakers, to advance EV infrastructure growth across the US, and to deliver the fast and reliable charging experience we know our customers demand. We remain open and committed to expanding alliances with EV industry leaders even further and we look forward to welcoming the growing number of EV drivers across the country to our network.”