BP Wants To Snag Abandoned Tesla Supercharger Sites

Tesla recently made the controversial move to drastically scale back its Supercharger business, leaving the division’s roughly 500 employees out of work. The rest of the country’s electric vehicle charging industry is jumping at the opportunity to make up ground. 

BP Pulse, the oil and gas giant’s EV charging subsidiary, told Bloomberg that it “is aggressively looking to acquire real estate to scale our network, which is a heightened focus following the recent Tesla announcement.” 

Tesla’s Supercharger layoffs create opportunities for rivals

In a move that shocked the EV industry, Tesla last week laid off its Supercharger division and indicated it would slow the expansion of its charging network. Other charging companies seem to be stepping up to fill the void. 

It’s not clear yet that Tesla is abandoning upcoming projects en masse. In the wake of reporting on the layoffs, Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified that the company was slowing down expansion of the Supercharger network and focusing on upgrading existing locations.

But Tesla has canceled at least a few planned sites in New York, InsideEVs previously reported. According to multiple outlets, the layoffs have thrown ongoing Supercharger projects into limbo as outside vendors and customers saw emails to their usual Tesla contacts bounce back. 

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BP and other charging providers are wading into the chaos in the hopes of snagging some prime locations for themselves. 

“If there are stranded real estate partners who are looking for someone to call, they should feel free to pick up the phone and call me or look me up on LinkedIn,” Sujay Sharma, CEO of BP Pulse Americas, told Bloomberg. Charge point operators like Tesla typically strike deals to lease land from shopping centers, supermarket chains and the like. BP also can leverage a huge network of existing gas stations, giving it a competitive edge.

BP isn’t alone here. The ride-hailing and EV charging upstart Revel is considering the locations Tesla has abandoned New York, the company’s CEO recently told InsideEVs. The CEO of EVgo, another large charging network, said on a recent earnings call that Tesla’s decision creates an opportunity for other charging outfits to “pick up some of the slack in terms of charging station growth that Tesla may be leaving behind.” 

BP is one of several gas station chains that’s investing heavily in EV charging, alongside Pilot-Flying J and Love’s Travel Stops. In 2023, BP said it would plunge $1 billion into its U.S. EV charging efforts by 2030. Last year, it also placed a $100 million order for Tesla’s charging hardware, which it would operate independently. That was the first deal of its kind. Tesla historically manufactured, owned and operated its Supercharger network, which is now the largest charging network in the U.S. by far. 

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