Hertz and BP Announce EV Partnership

As gas prices continue to rise—or, at the very least, remain at historically high levels—both car and fuel companies have to look for more ways to attract customers. One way to do that, of course, would be to focus on alternative fuels—and, specifically, electric vehicles—which is something that neither the automotive nor the oil industry tend to be very good at.

Fortunately, pressure from consumers and environmental groups may be having an impact as Hertz has revealed their plan to partner with BP to build an entire new network of electric vehicle charging stations across the contiguous United States.

Vic Shao is the head of BP Pulse’s fleet businesses. He comments, “When you have gasoline or diesel, you have a scenario where the price for the fuel is up or down by maybe you know, 25 percent, a given year or something like that.” In some markets, however, the price of electricity can range up and down by as much as 400 percent in a single day; which is often the case in states like California.

Shao goes on to express that many variables complicate the opportunity to scale up something like transitioning to an EV fleet. Without a fixed fuel cost (in this case, fuel = electricity) scaling up can be very difficult because you don’t have a handle on the operational expense.

Accordingly, this partnership will be particularly beneficial to Hertz as the rental car company announced, last year, their goal to purchase as many as 340,000 EVs last year (and from big manufacturers like Polestar, General Motors, and Tesla) within the next five years.

Indeed, Hertz Senior Vice President of Operations Initiatives, Jeff Nieman, reported in a recent interview with Forbes.com that the believe customers are all heading in the direction of electric vehicles. As such, then, it is Hertz’s plan to lead the market; not only in terms of increasing their EV fleet, but also in sharing the effort with partnerships like theirs with BP.

Nieman concludes, “Today we’ve got over 500 locations with EVs available across 38 states. In light of the GM news, we expect that to expand dramatically. As you get through the full allotment Evs will be ubiquitous across the Hertz locations. One-quarter of the fleet by 2024 we want to be electrified. That’s our goal.”