Charging an electric vehicle costs peanuts compared to filling up with petrol, but BP Pulse is on the cusp of making fast chargers almost as profitable as petrol filling.
How do charging operators turn a profit? By charging customers a higher price per kWh than they pay for it from the grid. Charging hubs with solar panels also generate free, clean energy, which boosts profitability considerably.
In an interview with Reuters, BP’s head of customers and products Emma Delaney said, “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 fuel.”
BP also disclosed that electricity sales for EV charging grew 45% in Q3 2021 on Q3 2020, with 2022 set to see even higher growth.
In other words, BP Pulse is seeing explosive growth in demand for EV charging, and the company has a strong business model to ensure they cement a leadership position. However, competition will be tough.
BP’s longest-standing competitor, Shell, is also transitioning to electric by converting underused fuel stations into EV charging hubs. BP is following the same track, although they are also buying disused areas of land.
In November last year, BP Pulse hiked prices by over 30% in response to rising wholesale energy costs. Other charging operators have also hiked prices in response to the energy crisis, which shows no signs of easing.