Hertz and BP have been making big moves in the electric vehicle space, and the two companies are joining forces in North America to roll out a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
They’ve signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a network under the BP Pulse charging solution brand, with the aim to “drive the future of mobility and accelerate EV consumer adoption”.
The agreement will also see BP Pulse manage Hertz’s charging infrastructure and customise its Omega software to ensure the rental car giant’s EV fleet is recharged quickly and efficiently between bookings.
BP Pulse says Omega supports fleet operations by automating charging when the power price is low, and giving users real-time visibility on chargers and power usage.
The companies say Hertz has a national footprint of locations across North America suitable for BP Pulse to build and manage a network of fast-charging hubs.
These will serve not only renters, but also taxi and ride-share drivers plus members of the general public.
BP Pulse, formerly known as Amply Power before BP’s acquisition in 2021, has commenced the installation of charging infrastructure at 25 Hertz locations across multiple states.
It’s unclear just how many charging stations are planned as part of this network, and how much money is being invested.
The Biden Administration recently approved US$900 million in funding for 35 states to build EV charging stations, with the aim of installing 500,000 new chargers in the US by 2030, and CNN reports Hertz may seek some of this funding.
“Hertz is accelerating the adoption of electrification by investing in the largest rental fleet of electric vehicles in North America and expanding the availability of charging stations,” said Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr.
“We are excited to partner with bp pulse to create a national charging infrastructure for the Hertz EV fleet, thereby growing the number of charging options available to our customers and providing them with a premium electric experience and lower emission travel options.”
Shortly after exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, Hertz has been investing heavily in expanding its fleet of electric vehicles, with large-scale purchases from Tesla, Polestar and, most recently, General Motors.
These are available at 500 locations across 38 US states, and Hertz aims for one quarter of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024.
It signed a deal with Tesla last year to buy 100,000 vehicles and a deal with Polestar earlier this year to buy 65,000 EVs between 2021 and 2026.
This month, it announced it would also build 175,000 EVs from General Motors over the next five years across multiple brands and segments.
This activity in the EV space isn’t confined to North America, either.
It plans to have hundreds of Polestar 2s on fleet in Australia by the end of 2022 and thousands by the end of 2023. It currently has 70.
It also announced last year it would add 350 Tesla Model 3s to its Australian fleet.
Likewise, BP has been embracing electric vehicles in Australia, announcing this year a multi-year deal with Australian EV charging company Tritium to roll out “just under 1000 chargers” in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
It’s not the only company better known for petrol stations to announce a rollout of EV chargers, with Ampol recently opening the first of 120 AmpCharge electric vehicle charging stations, which it plans to have operating around Australia by December 2023.