BP’s venture capital arm looks to India in clean mobility drive

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NEW DELHI, Nov 17 (Businesshala) – BP’s venture capital division could put up to a third of its new investment in India as it looks for deals in a clean mobility drive, BP Ventures’ managing director told Businesshala.

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BP’s Sofia Nadur said the British oil company’s investment arm is in talks with Indian firms in areas such as electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, battery swapping, energy storage, electric scooters and last mile logistics.

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So far, BP Ventures has only one Indian investment — it put $13 million in EV ride-hailing firm BlueSmart in September — and the country makes up about 2% of its $800 million portfolio. But Nadur expects the second deal to be completed in four months.

“India is a bubbly market so we should not be too slow about this, and neither do we intend to. It could be as much as a third of our investment in a few years,” she said.

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Big oil companies like BP are diversifying their investments as the transition away from fossil fuels threatens long-standing business models. It set up the BP venture a decade ago to invest in game-changing tech firms across the energy spectrum.

In the clean mobility sector, it has invested in US mobile EV charging company Freewire and Israeli fast-charge battery firm Storedot, among others.

Although it does not have a budget allocated for India, the fund typically invests between $2 million and $20 million in five to eight deals, Nadur said.

Like many other countries, India is pushing automakers to make EVs and wants at least 30% of new car sales to be electric by 2030. But EVs now make up only a fraction of sales, mainly due to high battery costs and lack of charging. basic infrastructure.

Nadur expects the fund’s BlueSmart investment to kick-start India’s EV ride-hailing sector, with more money spent on charging infrastructure and battery swapping.

BlueSmart has teamed up with BP and its joint venture partner Reliance Industries to set up charging stations across the country. Meanwhile, India’s largest electric car maker Tata Motors has tied up with BlueSmart to provide 3,500 EVs for its fleet.

BP is looking to support BlueSmart by investing in India’s EV charging infrastructure, as well as in battery storage and energy management to address India’s challenges around peak power demand.

“We are heavily focused on kick-starting new disruptive areas that may be meaningful to BP in the future,” Nadur said. (Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by David Clarke)


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