I’ve used several bp Pulse and bp Evie electric car charging stations in Victoria as well as NSW. My review is based on these experiences and all photos were taken by me during my charging visits at bp Australia locations.
5 Key Things you need to know about bp Pulse charging locations
If you have a CHAdeMO connector EV (Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Lexus UX300e) before you drive to a bp Pulse location check the details on the app because some locations have a 50%/50% mix of CHAdeMO and CCS connectors, whilst other locations have Dual CCS connectors.
You have to use the bp Pulse Google or Apple phone app to start the charge and pay via saved Credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay or Paypal. There is no option to tap an RFID card or credit/debit card on the machine to pay for the transaction. bp advise “we are working on developing alternative payment methods to provide you with”.
Whenever you add a new payment method to the bp Pulse app, there is a $10 pre-authorisation anti-fraud charge to confirm if the payment method is valid . This will be refunded to you in roughly 5 days, depending on your bank. I can confirm that’s what happened for me.
Curiously there are 6 charging locations at Australian bp sites which aren’t branded bp Pulse but are on the Evie Networks app instead.
Perhaps these exist because bp Australia bid for some government grants with Evie Networks before bp was ready to rollout their own fully owned charging network.
When I was charging my media review loan Kia EV6 Air at bp Pulse Sydenham on the right hand side I wondered why the Polestar 2 that plugged in after me charging on the left hand side was getting a much slower charging speed.
This article I wrote explains how to charge your EV fastest at a BP Pulse Tritium PKM if 2 CCS port electric cars charge simultaneously.
Are Australian bp Pulse chargers value for money?
At the moment all bp pulse EV charging locations in Australia charge $0.55/kWh.
At a charging rate of up to 75kW this price is:
- expensive compared to Chargefox 350kW locations which charge $0.48/kWh for motoring association members and $0.60/kWh for non members,
- expensive compared to Evie 350kW locations which charge $0.60/kWh,
- expensive/fair value compared to Chargefox 50kW locations depending on whether you’re a motoring association member who pays $0.36/kWh or a non member who pays $0.45/kWh,
- fair value compared to Evie 50kW locations which charge $0.45/kWh,
- fair value compared to Ampol AmpCharge 120kW and 180kW which charge a flat rate of $0.69/kWh regardless of speed.
If bp Pulse keeps the pricing at $0.55/kWh when they upgrade the electricity grid link for a site to 150kW max charging rate then it will become much better value for money, provided that your EV supports a charging speed this fast and it is the only EV connected to the station so it charges at the full rate.
Price isn’t everything though.
What bp is counting on is that people will use their chargers because they are convenient locations with food, drinks and toilet facilities such as bp Evie Northpoint in Epping, Melbourne or a Carwash as well like bp Pulse Sydenham, Sydney.
Note: total charging time will depend on your EV battery size, the state of charge % of your battery at the time of charging, your vehicle’s maximum charge rate capacity and whether another EV is also charging at the same charger.
bp Pulse History in Australia
International energy company and service station brand bp plans to enable electric vehicle (EV) charging at 50 Australian locations under their bp Pulse brand by the end of 2023, with a longer term plan for hundreds of high-speed EV chargers.
The bp Pulse charging network began in late 2022 at Diamond Creek in Victoria and Caboolture in Queensland.
The initial rollout has seen bp Pulse branded Tritium chargers installed at BP retail locations along Australia’s east coast, in an attempt to gain revenue from charging as well as hoping to entice EV drivers to purchase bp food and drinks while they wait for their electric vehicle to recharge.
100% of bp Pulse Australia locations use Tritium Chargers
In January 2023 multi-national DC fast charger manufacturer Tritium announced that bp had placed the largest ever order from a single customer in Tritium’s history for public and fleet chargers to be installed in United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.
Chargers manufactured for bp Australia are expected to be made in Tritium’s Brisbane factory, which has a capacity of 5,000 units per year.
Currently all bp Pulse locations in Australia that I know of are are capable of a total 75kW per location
bp says the electrical infrastructure at their sites is capable of being upgraded to 150kW and they expect this to occur “in the near future”.
I anticipate this will happen once a bp Pulse charging location becomes busy enough to justify the extra grid connection cost.