Electric vehicle fast chargers are soon becoming more profitable than petrol pumps, according to energy firm BP. Though the provision of EV charging services have been a loss-making operation for energy providers and aren’t expected to become profitable before 2025, BP’s fast-charging outlets are approaching margin levels seen from the petrol business, Reuters reported.

“If [we] think about a tank of fuel versus a fast charge, we are nearing a place where the business fundamentals on the fast charge are better than they are on the fuel,” BP head of customers and products Emma Delaney told Reuters. The “strong and rising” demand for rapid chargers in Britain and Europe has already brought margins close to those of traditional petrol filling, Delaney added.

According to Reuters, BP reported gross margins of US$3.5 billion (RM14.7 billion) in retail fuel sales in 2020; its customers and products division reported USD$2.6 billion (RM10.9 billion) in net profit in the first nine months of last year, or around 17% of the company’s net profit, according to the news outlet.

In terms of BP’s electricity sales, EV charging gained 45% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, and it plans to expand its network from 11,000 charging points at present, to 70,000 charging points by 2030, Reuters reported.

Delaney however did not disclose profit and loss for EV charging, or when overall profit from the EV busines would overtake that of traditional fossil fuel. BP rival Shell aims to have 500,000 charging points globally by 2025, Reuters added.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, Shell announced last week that its Recharge EV high performance charging (HPC) network in the country has commenced operations, and will be comprised of 12 charging points at six Shell stations located along the North-South Expressway. The network’s operations commenced with the introduction of the charging point in the Tangkak Lay-By (South Bound).

This follows its earlier announcement last year of its plans for Southeast Asia’s first cross-border HPC network, which includes a further 18 Shell Recharge 50 kW fast-charging points and 87 Greenlot public charging points in Singapore.