One of the world’s biggest oil companies, BP, wants consumers to be able to charge their electric vehicles in just five minutes by 2021.

A typical electric car with a 60kW/h battery takes around eight hours to charge from empty to full, using a 7kW charging point.

But the oil and petrol company, which is one of the world’s seven oil ‘supermajors’, says it is focused on reducing the amount of time drivers need to spend recharging as it increases its footprint in electric vehicles.

“Our aim is to have a battery in a car by 2021 that can be charged completely in five minutes – for a lot more than 100 kilometres,” BP’s head of technology David Eyton told BloombergNEF.

It has made a number of investments and acquisitions of late that should make that goal achievable: an investment in Israel-based StoreDot – a maker of modified lithium-ion batteries that “charge really fast” – and an acquisition of BP Chargemaster to ramp up installation of ultra-fast EV chargers at service stations in China, Germany and the UK.

“The constraint on how quickly charge points are rolled out is dependent upon how many electric cars there are. We need to pace the rollout of charge points ahead of demand, to give people the confidence to move to electric transport,” Eyton said.

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