Herbert Smith Freehills has advised bp on becoming the third shareholder of Digital Charging Solutions GmbH (DCS) with a stake of 33.3%. DCS, a joint venture of Daimler Mobility AG and BMW Group, is a leading developer of digital charging software for automotive manufacturers and vehicle fleet operators. Its in-car software integration provides EV drivers with seamless access to one of Europe’s largest charging networks. DCS already offers access to 228,000 charging points in 32 countries. The addition of bp is expected to provide DCS customers access to an additional 8,700 charging points across Europe and develop new integrated offers for fleets as a first step.
Under their agreement, bp will become a 33.3% partner alongside BMW Group and Daimler Mobility AG in DCS. bp’s acquisition of the stake in DCS is subject to regulatory approval. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
DCS works with OEMs to integrate its charging solutions into vehicle operating systems, offering Plug & Charge for vehicle and charger to communicate seamlessly without the need for additional customer authentication. For example, DCS already operates "Mercedes me Charge", "BMW Charging" and "MINI Charging" services.
As part of the agreement, bp’s European charging networks will be integrated into the DCS software system as well as fuel and charge for fleet customers, as a first step. Electrification is at the heart of bp’s convenience and mobility strategy and the company aims to grow its network of public EV charging points by 2030 to over 70,000 worldwide. They currently have around 8,700 charging points in Europe. The company is also rapidly growing its network of ultra-fast chargers and plans to have around 250 ultra-fast chargers operating at bp retail sites in the UK and 500 ultra-fast charging points across its Aral Pulse retail sites in Germany by year end. DCS customers will gain access to these additional charging points and bp will gain access to a wider customer base.
The Herbert Smith Freehills Team was led by Dr Christoph Nawroth, and included Dr Sebastian Schürer (Counsel, both Corporate, both Düsseldorf), Dr Steffen Hoerner (Tax, Frankfurt), Dr Marius Boewe (Energy), Dr Marcel Nuys (Competition), Dr Ina vom Feld (IP, all Düsseldorf), Dr Sven Wortberg (Real Estate), Kai Liebrich (Finance), Moritz Kunz (Employment, all Frankfurt); Dr Florian Huerkamp (Counsel, Competition, Düsseldorf), Maximilian Reinhardt (Counsel, Real Estate, Frankfurt); Associates: Dr Nikolaus Moench, Lauren Kode (Foreign Lawyer; both Corporate, both Düsseldorf), Tatiana Guenster (Tax, Frankfurt), Annika Gante, Mirko Gleitsmann (both Competition), Alex-Christian Lesch (Senior Associate, IP), Kristin Kattwinkel (Energy, all Düsseldorf), Yvonne Spatz (Senior Associate, Real Estate, Frankfurt), Tanja Keuser (Professional Support Lawyer, Real Estate, Frankfurt)