Hertz and BP are joining forces to build a network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers throughout the US (via Engadget). The initiative should help support Hertz’s growing fleet of EV vehicles, as the rental car company recently announced plans to purchase a total of over 300,000 EVs from Tesla, Polestar, and GM.
Details about the project are still pretty slim, and the two companies haven’t indicated how many charging stations they plan on building, how long it could take, or how much money either side is committing to the project. But we do know that Hertz is working with BP Pulse, the oil giant’s EV branch, to build out “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 that involved BP installing chargers at 25 of Hertz’s busiest airport locations. Hertz has also been building some EV chargers separately, already installing them at 500 locations across the US, with CNBC stating the company plans to have 3,000 chargers by the end of next year. A report from CNN indicates that Hertz may apply for $7.5 million in federal funding to help build out its network. This aligns with BP’s similar goals of establishing charging networks, with the company aiming for 100,000 chargers globally by 2023.
The availability of EV charging stations has long been a concern, with some drivers hesitant to purchase (let alone rent) an electric car because of their inaccessibility. As my colleague Justine Calma reported last year, the current placement of EV chargers in the US isn’t “equitable nor convenient for many low-income communities and neighborhoods of color.” Meanwhile, some EV owners have to contend with broken or inoperable chargers.
All of this could change soon, though. 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 available in the country now.