Monday, September 25, 2023

Hertz and BP team up to create a network of EV chargers in the US

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Hertz and BP join forces to build a network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the US (through Engadget). The initiative should help support Hertz’ growing fleet of EV vehicles, as the rental car company recently announced plans to purchase a total of more than 300,000 EVs from Tesla, Polestar and GM.

Details about the project are still fairly sketchy, and the two companies have not specified how many charging stations they plan to build, how long it could take, or how much money either side will be spending on the project. But we do know that Hertz is partnering with BP Pulse, the EV arm of the oil giant, to build “a network of fast charging hubs” with the goal of serving both Hertz customers and everyday EV drivers.

According to a report from CNBC, the deal builds on an initiative in which BP installed chargers at 25 of Hertz’s busiest airport locations. Hertz has also built a number of EV chargers separately and has already installed them at 500 locations in the US, with CNBC indicating the company plans to have 3,000 chargers by the end of next year. A report from CNN indicates that Hertz can apply for $7.5 million in federal funding to build its network. This aligns with BP’s similar goals to establish charging networks, with the company targeting 100,000 chargers worldwide by 2023.

The availability of EV charging stations has long been a concern, with some motorists hesitant to buy (let alone rent) an electric car due to their inaccessibility. As my colleague Justine Calma reported last year, the current placement of EV chargers in the US is neither “fair nor convenient for many low-income communities and neighborhoods of color.” Meanwhile, some EV owners have to contend with broken or unusable chargers.

However, all this could soon change. As part of the infrastructure bill passed last year, President Joe Biden approved $900 million in funding for 35 states to build EV charging stations along 53,000 miles of highway in the US. Biden hopes to build 500,000 chargers in the US by 2030, a steep climb from the 41,000 chargers now available in the country.

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