BP Seizes Opportunity to Expand Supercharging Network in the U.S. After Tesla Pullback

BP Plc is actively seeking to acquire Tesla Inc. supercharging sites and their associated personnel in the U.S. as part of a bold $1 billion expansion plan for its electric vehicle charging division. This initiative comes in response to Tesla’s recent decision to scale back its own supercharger development.

BP’s electric vehicle arm, bp pulse Americas, is on the hunt for prime real estate to broaden its charging infrastructure. “Following Tesla’s announcement, we are aggressively pursuing real estate acquisitions to expand our network,” said Sujay Sharma, CEO of bp pulse Americas. The company aims to invest $1 billion by 2030, with half of that amount allocated within the next two to three years to establish more than 3,000 new charging points nationwide. A significant element of this expansion involves constructing large-scale charging centers, dubbed Gigahubs, which will feature 12 or more chargers each.

Sujay Sharma encourages real estate partners in need to reach out. “If there are stranded real estate partners seeking a new partnership, they should not hesitate to contact me directly or via LinkedIn,” he stated in a Bloomberg interview.

This strategic move is a direct response to Elon Musk’s decision to reduce the pace of expansion for Tesla’s Supercharger network by dismissing most of its team. This reduction poses risks to the adoption of electric vehicles in North America, where an estimated 400,000 ultra-fast chargers are needed by 2030 to support 40 million EVs, according to BloombergNEF. Currently, Tesla’s chargers constitute 74% of all high-speed charging infrastructure in the region.

Tesla’s network has expanded quickly and cost-effectively, often receiving the highest satisfaction ratings from EV drivers. This makes the approximately 500 laid-off Tesla employees highly attractive to competitors like BP. “We are actively looking for talented individuals and real estate opportunities to continue our growth despite the challenges,” Sharma added.

In the previous year, BP signed a deal to purchase around $100 million of Tesla’s supercharger hardware, with plans to begin deployment between this year and early 2025.

Other companies, including EVgo Inc., also view Tesla’s slowdown as beneficial for increasing their market share. “This marks a significant shift in the competitive dynamics within the charging sector,” said Badar Khan, CEO of EVgo, during the company’s earnings call on May 7. EVgo is also looking to hire former Tesla employees and is in discussions with site hosts impacted by Tesla’s strategy shift.

Following these developments, EVgo’s shares surged by over 13% on May 9, while Tesla’s shares fell by 1.6%. This reflects the market’s reaction to the evolving landscape in the electric vehicle charging market, with BP and others poised to fill the gap left by Tesla’s pullback.

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