BP Ebitda positive for China and Germany charging
2025 target for global profitability
Oil major BP achieved positive Ebitda for its EV charging joint venture with China’s Didi mobility firm and for its charging business in Germany in the second half of the year. And it will continue in invest in charging infrastructure buildout in its four key markets — China, continental Europe, the UK and US — as it works towards a 2025 target to be Ebitda positive globally.
The firm increased its number of charge points by the end of Q2 compared to the middle of last year by 70pc. And it sold more than twice as much energy in its charging business, “actually close to three times”, according to BP CEO Bernard Looney.
“In EV charging, we are rapidly building scale and demonstrating emerging profitability,” the BP chief says. “We expect to be Ebitda positive by 2025 as we accelerate the rollout of rapid and ultrafast EV charge points and drive a material increase in energy sold,” agrees CFO Murray Auchinloss.
“It is the utilisation rates that are then driving the fact that China today is Ebitda positive,” says Looney. “The same is true in Germany, where we are not really seeing a slowdown in the purchasing of these cars. The utilisation is on the up and therefore Germany is also Ebitda positive today.”
And BP is aiming to build on its progress. “It is obviously a growth business. We have to invest,” he stresses. Buildout of fast charging-focused infrastructure in the UK is “going very well”, says Looney, who reports “record utilisation” at its Hammersmith site in west London.
In Spain, BP and its partner, Spanish utility Iberdrola, have committed €1bn ($1.1bn) to build out a charging network. The firm also recently sanctioned $500mn of investment in the US over the next two to three years to begin infrastructure buildout, including at its newly acquired Travelcenters of America (TA) sites.
“Then we will go beyond that,” says Looney. “We will take advantage of the TA network, of course, and start putting chargers down there. But this partnership where we are building Gigahub — this is where we can charge 100 cars at one time at major airports like Houston Hobby — is really beginning to take off. So the US is quite exciting for us.”
And BP is leveraging an advantage from another of its acquisitions in the US electricity sector. “Blueprint Power — a company that we bought a couple of years ago that is focused on residential power and how to manage and optimise power in buildings —[is] actually helping the EV people where to place the chargers,” Looney reveals.
“That software and that insight of the market can make a huge difference in the Ebitda profile of a charging location. We think that their help alone [will make] us a couple of hundred million dollars of Ebitda in that business in the US alone as it comes online over the next several years.”