Hertz and BP are teaming up to build a network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the US (via Engadget). The plan should help support Hertz’s growing fleet of electric vehicles, as the car rental company recently announced plans to purchase a combined total of more than 300,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, Polestar and General Motors.
Projects remain slim, and neither company has said how many charging stations they plan to build, how long it will take, or how much money will be invested by either side. But we do know that Hertz is teaming up with BP Pulse, the electric vehicle arm of the oil giant, to build a “network of fast-charging hubs” with the goal of serving Hertz’s customers and everyday EV drivers.
According to CNBC, the deal builds on a plan that involved BP installing chargers at 25 of Hertz’s busiest airport locations. Hertz also makes some EV chargers separately, having installed them at 500 U.S. locations, and CNBC said the company plans to have 3,000 by the end of next year. A CNN report suggests that Hertz may apply for $7.5 million in federal funding to help build its network. This is in line with BP’s similar goal of building a charging network, with the company aiming to have 100,000 charging points worldwide by 2023.
The availability of EV charging stations has long been an issue, with some drivers hesitant to buy (let alone rent) EVs because they are difficult to access. As my colleague Justine Calma reported last year, the current placement of EV chargers in the U.S. “is neither fair nor convenient for many low-income communities and communities of color.” Meanwhile, some EV owners have had to deal with damaged or unusable chargers.
However, all of this could change soon. As part of an infrastructure bill passed last year, President Joe Biden approved $900 million in funding to build electric vehicle charging stations along 53,000 miles of highways in 35 U.S. states. Biden wants to build 500,000 chargers in the U.S. by 2030, a sharp jump from the 41,000 currently available in the country.