Tesla and BP announced a deal where the former will sell $100 million worth of Supercharger hardware for the latter to deploy at its locations across the US.
The deal is pretty much a first of its kind.
Tesla has the best fast-charging network for electric cars in North America by far.
That, along with its better connector design, is the reason why most automakers have now adopted its connector as the new standard.
The automakers want their EV owners to have access to the best charging network available.
Tesla has always built its own charging hardware, deployed the stations, and operated the network itself.
Now, a new door is opening.
Tesla has confirmed that it is selling its Supercharger hardware to BP in order for the oil giant to deploy its own Tesla-built but BP-branded stations at its locations.
BP announced in a press release:
Today bp (NYSE: bp) announced a deal in which bp pulse, bp’s EV charging business, will acquire ultra-fast charging hardware units from Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) for $100 million. The investment will facilitate the expansion of the bp pulse public network across the US, while also enabling support for EV fleet customers by deploying chargers at their private depots. The introduction of Tesla’s chargers to the bp pulse network is the first time the hardware will be purchased for an independent EV charging network.
The deal will involve Tesla supplying its Supercharger hardware with Magic Dock, which supports CCS vehicles on top of Tesla vehicles.
The rollout will start next year at a bunch of different BP locations:
The roll-out is planned to begin in 2024 and locations will include key sites across the bp family of brands, including TravelCenters of America, Thorntons, ampm; and Amoco, as well as at bp pulse’s large-scale Gigahub™ charging sites in major metropolitan areas and at third-party locations, such as Hertz locations, as part of previously announced collaborations. The first installation sites have been identified in Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago; and Washington D.C.
Tesla’s head of charging infrastructure, Rebecca Tinucci, commented on the announcement:
At Tesla, we’re driven to enable great charging experiences for all EV owners. Selling our fast-charging hardware is a new step for us, and one we’re looking to expand in support of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. We appreciate bp’s partnership in this area – it’s the right step towards a more sustainable future.”
Neither Tesla or BP confirmed the number of stations involved, but the deal is valued at $100 million.
This is very interesting. As Tinucci pointed out, this is “a new step” for Tesla.
However, it is not entirely new. Tesla has sold some private Supercharger stations in the past, but they were limited in power and not meant to be deployed in a large-scale network like this.
Also, it has been a while. The last time I remember hearing about a Supercharger station owned by a third party was in 2016. Damn, I’ve been doing this a long time.
But again, this is on a much bigger scale.
This is basically Tesla becoming a charging hardware supplier, like ABB or Tritium. If what Tinucci said is true and Tesla plans to “expand” that effort, it will be interesting to see how it goes.
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