BP and Didi Chuxing (DiDi) are to form a new joint venture to build electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in China, the world's largest market for electric vehicles.

The British energy provider says DiDi is the world's leading multi-modal transportation platform, offering users a full range of app-based options, including ride-hailing, automobile solutions sharing and other services.

Its platform already has around 550m users and around 600,000 EVs are running on it in China. 

BP has a global fuels retailing and convenience business operating in 18 countries globally, with more than 18,700 retail sites and with a rapidly-growing presence in China.

The joint venture will develop stand-alone charging hubs to provide EV services to DiDi's drivers and the public. The partners also intend to expand the venture into loyalty and convenience offerings and other fleet services in the near future. 

"As the world's largest EV market, China offers opportunities to develop new businesses at scale and we see this as the perfect partnership for such a fast-evolving environment," said BP Downstream chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic.

"The lessons we learn here will help us further expand BP's advanced mobility business worldwide, helping drive the energy transition and develop solutions for a low carbon world.

"Combining BP's global retail capability, EV charging expertise and experience with DiDi's mobility service platform, our partnership will aggregate demand and provide fast, reliable and safe charging for DiDi drivers and the public in China.

"DiDi is already converting to electric vehicles and has a very large user base, so we expect to drive high utilisation of charging assets from day one."

BP and DiDi have already opened a pilot site in Guangzhou in the Guangdong province, with ten fast-charging units, ranging from 60-120kW. This site will migrate into the joint venture once live.

The venture aims to expand rapidly, with an ambition to become the leading EV charging provider in China.

China is the world's largest and fastest-developing EV market with around 50% of the world's BEVs today. By 2030, BP expects around 80% of EV charging in China to be carried out at destination, forecourt and fleet hub charge points. 

BP is one of the leading foreign investors in the Chinese oil and gas sector. BP's business activities in China include petrochemicals manufacturing and marketing, aviation fuel supply, retail operations, lubricants blending and marketing, oil and gas supply and trading, LNG terminal and trunk line operation, chemicals technology licencing, and advanced mobility and venturing investments.

BP also has partnerships with Chinese national energy companies internationally. 

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