Total is set to take over operation of London’s oldest electric vehicle charging network Source London as the petrol-chemical company announced the acquisition of Bolloré’s Blue Point London today. The transaction is to be completed by year’s end.
Launched in 2010, the Source London EV network currently comprises around 1,600 on-street charge points. They will all be managed by Total as the French oil giant intensifies its greenwashing attempts. Total also committed to powering this charging network with renewable energy supplied by its subsidiary Total Gas & Power Limited.
Source London network has been developed in cooperation with the London Boroughs and currently represents more than half of the charge points in operation in the British capital. Due to its cross-district nature and changing ownership, the network had exhibited problems in the past.
Bolloré came in as BluePoint London and wanted to install an additional 1,000 charge points back in 2018. In fact, Bluepoint had been trying to take an active part in London’s EV infrastructure efforts since 2014 (we reported). It was then that the Bolloré subsidiary acquired the Source London network from Transport for London (TfL) with the promise to operate and renew the network.
Little did the French know about London’s inner working that would make any fast progress difficult. The change of contract meant the boroughs had to renew their agreement. There were 1,400 charge points in the initial Source network when Bolloré took over so with 1,600 now up and running, and it is clear the company never managed to realise the growth plans previously reported.
Total though is positive to change that. “By combining today these existing infrastructures with Total’s know-how in terms of installation, operation and management of public electric vehicle charging networks, we are starting a new phase, supporting the expansion of electric mobility in London,” said Alexis Vovk, President, Marketing & Services at Total. “In collaboration with our partners and the local authorities, we will be able to meet both the strong growth in demand for on-street charge points and the needs for new mobility solutions of London users.” Numbers are missing at this stage.
The company had gathered experience in charging networks through other take-overs. Earlier this year in January, Total had received a concession from the Amsterdam Electric Metropolitan Region (MRA-Electric) allowing the Group to install and operate up to 20,000 new charging points in the Netherlands through a business unit formally known as PitPoint Clean Fuels.
In France, Total had purchased the charging infrastructure specialist G2Mobility already in 2019, then hailing the move as “a pivotal step in improving our electric vehicle charging offering”. At the time, Total also announced a cooperation with the cable manufacturer Nexans. Total is also partner to New Motion since 2017.
With a view to Europe, Total has set itself the goal of operating a total of 150,000 charging points by 2025 and “become a major player in the electric mobility business”. For years, the Group has been buying up companies active in this field to keep pace in this growth area – among others with other oil multinationals such as Shell.