Bridgestone EMIA expanding EV charging at retail sites with EVBox Group
Bridgestone has announced a new long-term partnership with electric vehicle charging solutions supplier EVBox. The partnership aims to expand Europe’s charging infrastructure with the installation of up to 3,500 new charging ports across Bridgestone’s European retail and service network – including Bridgestone’s retail brands like Speedy and First Stop – in a five-year project. Bridgestone calls the partnership the latest part of its commitment to help shape a sustainable future of mobility, supporting the adoption of EVs. The project will begin in France and Italy and expand into the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, and other European countries.
Bridgestone’s new charging network will consist of both normal and fast charging stations installed in strategic locations and will be accessible to all EV drivers, both private and fleet vehicles; fast charging ports will be installed on high-demand routes for people in transit to quickly charge. The partnership will be facilitated through EVBox’s partner TSG, the European leader in technical services for mobility solutions, which will take a leading role in designing, installing and maintaining the EV charging infrastructure across Bridgestone’s European retail and service network.
Bridgestone says its EVBox partnership will give drivers and fleets access to one of Europe’s largest charging networks, a public charging network of more than 130,000 ports and the 3,500 new charging ports, through one single solution: a dedicated card or mobile app, facilitated through EVBox’s Charging Management Software. The app or card offers a centralised platform for payments and invoicing, providing data on recharging habits, and enabling its users to travel from Madrid to Helsinki using the same solution. Bridgestone’s retail network will also offer EV drivers the opportunity to buy and install at-home EV charging stations. Overall Bridgestone wants to strengthen its commitment to improving the accessibility of EVs as a more sustainable mobility choice.
Informing this approach are projections about electric vehicle sales in the next five years and beyond. According to Bridgestone internal estimates based on Frost & Sullivan, BCG, ACEA, LMC, Transport & Environment, and HIS data, the manufacturer expects 20 per cent of 2025 new car sales in Europe to be EVs. The tyre manufacturer says it sees EVs as “a huge opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions and make mobility more environmentally sustainable.”
Overcoming EV barriers
The opportunity is obvious, but there are significant barriers to overcome before a fully electric future can be realised. Bridgestone’s annual research on EV take-up across Europe, which surveyed 3,000 European consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and UK, found that, for the respondents who are not considering acquiring an EV, 50 per cent cited insufficient charging infrastructure as the reason why. This challenge is being addressed by the EU ‘Fit for 55’ package, which is requiring Member States to expand charging capacity in line with the expected zero-emission car sales, and to install charging and fuelling points at regular intervals on major highways. These intervals will be every 60km for electric charging and every 150km for hydrogen.
Bridgestone adds that it is “transforming its business” to support the adoption of EVs in a “fully integrated approach.” It is investing in the development of premium tyres and tyres technologies for EVs as well as dedicated fleet and mobility solutions. The company is also partnering with leading EV manufacturers and developing an EV-ready retail and service network – offering electric vehicle maintenance and tyre services, EV charging and mobile services for EVs all under one roof. It describes helping to expand Europe’s charging infrastructure through the EVBox and TSG partnerships as a big milestone on this journey.
‘Evolving, growing alongside e-mobility’
Commenting on the announcement from Bridgestone and EVBox, Christophe de Valroger, Bridgestone EMIA’s VP retail operations, said: “Bridgestone is committed to helping drive the electric future into reality, partnering with leading EV manufacturers to develop premium tyres and sustainable technologies that meet the specific requirements of EVs. Also key to those efforts is building a truly EV-ready retail and service network. Through this partnership we will be supporting the much-needed expansion of Europe’s charging infrastructure, and providing EV drivers and fleet operators with the convenience and efficiency they demand. EVBox has been leading the creation of the EV charging industry since 2010; it’s definitely the right partner for us.”
“Bridgestone is a business passionate about shaping a sustainable future of mobility. We’ve seen this come to life through many of its recent announcements and partnerships, and we’re proud to be working alongside a company with like-minded ambitions,” said Bram Poeth, CCO at EVBox Group. “This collaboration marks the beginning of a new long-term partnership between industry leaders that will evolve and grow alongside e-mobility and its demands.”