Total expands EV charging infrastructure with UK acquisition

09 October 2020

9 October 2020 Energy company Total has acquired charging infrastructure provider Blue Point London from the Bolloré Group, in another example of companies associated with oil and fossil fuels looking further afield as the automotive industry moves towards electrification. Blue Point London operates more than 1,600 charging points in the UK capital, making it the largest charging network citywide. Total will take over management of the infrastructure, and has committed to powering the network with electricity 100% guaranteed from renewable sources, supplied by its subsidiary, Total Gas & Power. Launched in 2010, the current Source London network has been developed in cooperation with the London Boroughs. Currently, it represents more than half of the charge points in operation in the capital city. Source London growth perspectives are supported by the City of London’s ambition to be a zero-carbon city by 2050, notably with the aim of increasing the number of charge points by tenfold within five years. Open expansion In January, Metropolitan Region Amsterdam Electric (MRA-Electric) awarded Europe’s largest concession contract for EV charging to Total. Under this agreement, the company will install and operate up to 20,000 new public-charging points in the Netherlands, in the three provinces of North-Holland, Flevoland and some municipalities around Utrecht. In addition, the business is expanding its operation of networks in Brussels, Belgium. The Group is thereby pursuing its development in major European cities, in line with its ambition of operating more than 150,000 electric vehicle charge points by 2025. ′By combining today these existing infrastructures with Total’s know-how in terms of installation, operation and management of public electric-vehicle charging networks, we are starting a new phase, supporting the expansion of electric mobility in London,’ said Alexis Vovk, president, marketing and services at Total. ‘In collaboration with our partners and the local authorities, we will be able to meet both the strong growth in demand for on-street charge points and the needs for new mobility solutions of London users.’ Changing fortunes With BP buying Chargemaster in 2018 and Shell working as part of the Ionity consortium, oil giants are hedging their bets on new technologies. Total is pursuing the development of electric-vehicle (EV) charging networks in major cities, as it looks to futureproof its business. With carmakers forced down the route of electrification due to lower CO2 emissions targets and strict European Union fines, oil companies are increasingly looking to improve their ability to cater to this new powertrain technology. With some governments in Europe seeking to phase out the sale of the internal combustion engine (ICE), profits from the sale of petrol and diesel fuel could start to shrink in the coming years.