British Petroleum plc (BP) and Didi Chuxing (DiDi) today announced they have agreed to form a new joint venture to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.
China is the world’s largest and fastest-developing EV market with around 50% of the world’s battery electric vehicles (BEVs) today. By 2030, around 80% of EV charging in China is expected to be done at destination, forecourt and fleet hub charge points.
The joint venture will develop standalone, reliable and high-quality charging hubs to provide EV charging services to DiDi’s drivers and the public. The partners also intend to expand the venture into loyalty and convenience offerings and other fleet services in the near future.
BP and DiDi have already opened a pilot site in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, with ten fast-charging units, ranging from 60-120kW. This site will migrate into the joint venture once live. The venture aims to expand rapidly, with an ambition to quickly become the leading EV charging provider in China.
DiDi is the world’s leading multi-modal transportation platform, offering users a full range of app-based options, including ride-hailing, automobile solutions sharing, and other services. Its platform already has approximately 550 million users and over 600,000 EVs are running on it in China.
The agreement with BP follows other two signed by DiDi in de MaaS and EV Charging fields
Cheng Wei, Chairman and CEO of DiDi, said: “We look forward to combining our strengths to create a robust EV charging network for China, promote the growth of the new energy automotive industry, and provide better experience for car owners across the country.”
DiDi partners with Grab, Lyft, Ola, 99, and Bolt (Taxify) in a global ride-hailing network that reaches over 80% of the world’s population across over 1,000 cities. Currently, DiDi provides ride-hailing services in Brazil under the 99 brand, operates DiDi-branded mobility services in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Australia, and provides taxi-hailing service in Japan through a joint venture.
DiDi-China Southern Power Grid EV charging service in Hainan. © DiDi
The j-v agreement with BP follows other two movements by DiDi in the field of mobility services and EV charging networks.
In late July this same year DiDi created an EV Services joint venture with Hainan Government and China Southern Power Grid and received a $600 million investment from Toyota expanding MaaS (mobility as a service) collaboration in China. Both the Chinese and the Japanese companies will establish a joint venture between GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd (GTM) for vehicle-related services for ride-hailing drivers.
The agreement with the Japanese automotive manufacturer will allow Toyota and DiDi to expand the various connected services provided by MSPF in its value chain including vehicle management, maintenance, insurance, and financing for customers and drivers to realize the high potential of the MaaS market in China. Toyota also aims to introduce and promote the widespread use of battery electrified vehicles (BEVs) suitable for future mobility services in China.
Toyota and DiDi had announced their collaboration on e-Palette in January 2018, and launched vehicle-related services, including a vehicle leasing service and various services for DiDi ride-hailing drivers at a Toyota dealer in May 2018. Those cars are equipped with Toyota’s in-vehicle device, TransLog, leveraging intelligent analysis capabilities of Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to provide quality automobile maintenance support and safe driving guidance to ride-hailing drivers.
Toyota-DiDi Signing Ceremony (from left to right).- Stephen Zhu, Senior Vice President of Didi Chuxing; Shigeki Tomoyama, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation. © Toyota.
In April 2018, DiDi integrated its portfolio of auto-related services into its open automobile solutions platform, Xiaoju Automobile Solutions (“XAS”). XAS works with a broad range of automakers, fleet operators and energy partners to provide integrated automobile solutions – with charging service being one of the highest priority sectors. As the world’s largest EV operator with over 600,000 EVs running on its platform, DiDi will leverage its data analytics and large user base to keep improving industry standards and enhancing customer experience, working together with partners.
Through the new agreement signed in July 2019, Toyota and DiDi plan to shift to full-scale implementation of services that both companies have been developing in China.
The j-v with DiDi comes after BP’s investments in Chargemaster and NIO Capital
Tufan Erginbilgic, BP’s Downstream chief executive, said:“Combining BP’s global retail capability, EV charging expertise and experience with DiDi’s unrivalled mobility service platform, our partnership will aggregate demand and provide highquality, fast, reliable and safe charging for DiDi drivers and the public in China. DiDi is already converting to electric vehicles and has a very large user base, so we expect to drive high utilisation of charging assets from Day One.”
Xiaoping Yang, BP China chairman and president, added: “China offers tremendous growth opportunities for BP. Partnering with DiDi enables BP to actively contribute to China’s fastgrowing EV charging market with differentiated offers, and also to further expand our business footprint in the country.”
© BP plc
BP is committed to being a leading fuel provider for both conventional and electric vehicles in its businesses worldwide.
Following the acquisition in 2018 of BP Chargemaster, the UK’s leading electric vehicle charging company, BP is now beginning roll out of ultra-fast chargers at sites in the UK. BP has also invested in innovative fast-charging battery technology firm StoreDot.
In China, this work already includes an investment in NIO Capital’s investment fund, focused on China’s new energy vehicle ecosystem, and an equity investment in PowerShare, which offers an online platform connecting EV drivers, charge point operators and power suppliers.
BP has a global fuels retailing and convenience business operating in 18 countries worldwide, with over 18,700 retail sites, and with a significant and rapidly-growing presence in China.
Image over the headline.- BP-DiDi pilot EV charging facility in Guangzhou.© BP plc/DiDi
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