Jan. 30 (UPI) -- As a U.S. counterpart pledges billions for spending on shale, British energy company BP said Tuesday it spent $5 million on Europe's electric vehicle network.
BP said it invested $5 million in FreeWire Technologies, a U.S. company that makes charging stations for electric vehicles. BP's plan is to bring the charging units to retail service stations in the United Kingdom and Europe throughout the year.
"Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future," Tufan Erginbilgic, the chief executive for BP's refining business, said in a statement.
European companies are pushing the accelerator for electric vehicle networks. In November, German utility company E.ON said that, with $11.6 million in funding from the European Commission, it would work with service provider CLEVER to link Norway to Italy with a network of 180 charging stations for electric vehicles.
Charging stations will be spaced every 90 miles or so across Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway during the next three years. For BP, the company said its work with FreeWire, which is based in California, will help mobilize the electric vehicle charging industry.
"We believe its mobile fast charging technology will be one of a number of fueling options that will be needed to address the future of lower carbon mobility," said David Gilmour, a vice president at BP's investment arm, BP Ventures.
Two million electric vehicles were on the road globally last year, though nearly all of those were in China, the European Union and the United States. BP's announcement Tuesday came as Exxon Mobil committed tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. shale oil sector, which it said was in part a response to a corporate tax break championed by President Donald Trump.
BP said it expected a $1.5 billion one-off non-cash charge from the U.S. corporate income tax reduction.
Exxon in December opened eight Mobil-branded service stations in the central Mexican state of Querétaro. The company said it represents its first footsteps in the Mexican retail gasoline market and 50 service stations are planned by the end of the first quarter.