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BP signs deal with mall owner Simon Property for over 900 EV chargers

Published 07/10/2024, 09:06 AM
Updated 07/10/2024, 10:57 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A BP Pulse electric vehicle charging point is seen in London, Britain, July 16, 2021. Picture taken July 16, 2021.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
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By Abhirup Roy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A unit of BP (NYSE:BP) signed a deal with mall owner Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) to install and operate more than 900 high-speed electric-vehicle chargers at 75 sites across the United States, the companies said on Wednesday.

The first locations with chargers from BP Pulse will be open to public in early 2026 and support vehicles from nearly all EV makers, the companies said in a joint statement.

The deal, one of the largest in EV charging for the global oil giant, comes amid a broader slowdown in demand for EVs as high interest rates meant to control inflation have soured consumer sentiment for battery-powered vehicles, which are typically more expensive than gas-powered counterparts.

"We continue to believe that the U.S. will be a substantial EV market," Sujay Sharma, CEO of BP Pulse Americas, said in an interview with Reuters, but declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Sharma said the company was working on more such deals.

BP Pulse has more than 33,900 EV charge points globally, the company said, and plans to have 100,000 points by 2030.

The oil major has been expanding its footprint through deals with other companies such as Hertz, and also acquired truck fueling provider TravelCenters (NASDAQ:TA) of America last year to expand its retail and charging network.

"I think in the short term there may be some demand slowdown," Sharma said. "(But) we think the consumers are out there. We think the growth is out there long-term. We take that long-term outlook and we invest for that."

Last year, BP Pulse made plans to invest $1 billion in America's EV infrastructure by the end of the decade.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A BP Pulse electric vehicle charging point is seen in London, Britain, July 16, 2021. Picture taken July 16, 2021.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

However, the company axed more than 100 jobs, or over 10% of its global workforce, and also pulled its electric vehicle charging business out of several markets, sources told Reuters in April.

(This story has been officially corrected to say that the number of charge points is 33,900, not 39,000, in paragraph 6)

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