In a landmark £2.5 billion deal, Motor Fuel Group (MFG) is set to acquire 337 petrol stations from Morrisons, alongside more than 400 sites earmarked for cutting-edge ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging point development across the UK. This strategic move will expand MFG's portfolio and see Morrisons securing a 20% stake in the company, marking a significant collaboration in the retail and energy sectors.
The partnership aims to maintain supermarket fuel pricing at the acquired Morrisons forecourts, ensuring the Morrisons brand continues to be a familiar sight. Additionally, MFG is planning to install 800 ultra-rapid 150kW EV chargers over the next five years, bolstering its current tally of electrified forecourts from 130 to an impressive 500 by 2030. This expansion will be supported by a hefty £400 million investment in EV infrastructure.
The collaboration is set to revolutionize convenience retailing at MFG locations. Morrisons is committing to supply food and groceries across the 337 included forecourts and potentially extending its services to MFG's broader network. This deal catapults MFG into one of the UK's leading ultra-rapid EV charge point operators, with over 1,300 sites poised to serve millions of customers weekly.
William Bannister, CEO of MFG, said: "This strategic acquisition, and the resulting partnership with the highly respected Morrisons brand, is the next significant growth investment for MFG. It is anchored in the potential for us to accelerate the roll-out of ultra-rapid EV charging infrastructure across the UK while also giving customers a first-class retail offer.
"We will be there to serve and power our customers, regardless of what car they drive, in the years and decades ahead, as we play a key role in keeping the country and its economy moving. We look forward to working with Morrisons to provide best-in-class charging, refueling, and retail experiences for all our customers."
Rami Baitiéh, CEO of Morrisons, added that the partnership will combine the two companies' expertise and resources to deliver an enhanced range of services to customers as the transition to EVs grows.
"It means Morrisons customers will continue to see a competitive and attractive forecourt offering, including expanded access to EV charging, while also benefitting from a greater focus on investment in Morrisons' core food business," he said. "We are delighted to have such a strong partner in MFG and look forward to the opportunities a combined MFG and Morrisons forecourt offering will provide."
Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and COO at Zapmap, said the acquisition represented a significant expansion of MFG's ultra-rapid network and promised a major boost for EV drivers.
"It's fantastic to see MFG partnering with Morrisons to deliver reliable, high-powered charging for electric car drivers across the country," she said.
"MFG's fast-paced roll-out of charging hubs is certainly impressive, while the increased availability of ultra-rapid charging capabilities across the UK will contribute to greater vehicle adoption, which, of course, pollute less and support our collective efforts to reduce harmful carbon emissions."
The deal has been lauded by industry experts, including Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and COO at Zapmap, who praised the significant expansion of MFG's ultra-rapid network. This move is expected to boost EV adoption by providing reliable, high-powered charging solutions nationwide, aligning with efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
This announcement follows Sainsbury's launch of its ultra-rapid EV charging business, Smart Charge. By the end of 2024, Sainsbury aims to offer over 750 charging bays at more than 100 locations, signifying a growing trend among UK supermarkets to embrace EV charging solutions.