Rental car giant Hertz (HTZ) is teaming up with an unlikely partner — oil giant, BP (BP) — to build a new network of electric vehicle charging stations. Specifically, Hertz is partnering with BP’s new EV-charging arm, BP Pulse.
The deal stipulates that BP Pulse will install and manage a network of EV chargers on behalf of Hertz. This charging assistance will help Hertz continue to scale its fleet of EVs.
The chargers will be built at Hertz locations, but many of them will be made available to taxis and ridesharing companies, as well as the general public. Since Hertz has over 2,500 US locations, this will be advantageous for EV drivers across the nation.
Hertz’s Electrification Efforts
For a company like Hertz, “going electric” is much easier said than done, but the rental car giant is getting started, putting the electric wheels in motion.
Hertz already has thousands of EVs available for customers to rent at locations across the US. Plus, the company is in the process of buying more, and plans for 25% of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024. Most recently, it announced a series of combined deals to buy up to 340,000 additional EVs from Tesla (TSLA), Polestar (PSNY), and General Motors (GM).
Expanding its network of charging stations is a vital aspect of the electrification process. A fleet of EVs is a futile effort without a place to charge them. Before 2024, Hertz aims to have 3,000 EV charging stations across the US — separate from its deal with BP.
Scaling an EV Fleet
As with any young industry, electric vehicle companies are tackling new problems as they emerge. One of the biggest issues with scaling electric vehicles is that the price of electricity is much more volatile than that of traditional fuel, such as gasoline or diesel.
Energy sector executives note the cost of traditional fuel varies by about 25% in any given year. Comparing that to the cost of electricity, which can vary by as much as 400% in a given day, this presents uncertainty for companies like Hertz, given the need to charge hundreds of thousands of EVs.
In Hertz’s case, BP Pulse is building fleet software that will help the rental car company reduce its charging costs. The program identifies the times of the day when electricity is at its lowest price, so as to achieve the most cost-efficient recharging.
Making the switch to electric vehicles could help solve a lot of the world’s environmental problems, but it also creates a whole slew of new challenges. With this deal Hertz and BP are working together to help propel an entire industry forward.
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