Multinational company has invested £3.5m in charging firm.

Oil company BP has announced plans to introduce mobile electric car charging units at a selection of its UK petrol station forecourts after investing heavily in a charging system manufacturer.

The oil, energy and petrochemical company said it had invested around £3.5 million in FreeWire, which makes mobile rapid-charging units for electric vehicles. As part of the deal, BP is set to trial the technology at certain sites across the UK and Europe during 2018.

Essentially a huge battery on wheels, the Mobi Charger that BP will use can be charged from a conventional wall socket, before being towed or pushed to a suitable location and used to rapid charge any electric vehicle.

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Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive of BP Downstream, said that the system would allow BP to adapt its EV charging offering rapidly without the need to invest in fixed charging points or other infrastructure.

‘Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.’

David Gilmour, vice president of BP Ventures, added: ‘We believe FreeWire’s mobile fast-charging technology will be one of a number of fuelling options that will be needed to address the future of lower-carbon mobility. We were encouraged by FreeWire’s expertise and their product. We are excited to be making this investment and to continue working with them, testing customer demand for the product and further developing the offering for the fast-growing EV supply equipment market.’