HOUSTON — BP plans to establish the BP Pulse Gigahub network, a series of large, electric vehicle (EV) fast charging hubs designed to serve ride-hail and taxi fleets near U.S. airports and other high-demand locations across the country.
The first location is expected to be built near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in collaboration with Hertz.
The proposed LAX site is partially funded by a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission. BP Pulse, the company's global electrical and charging solution brand, will lead the installation and management of the charging infrastructure, including use of its proprietary Omega charge management software that optimizes the cost of charging. The Gigahub site would be located at one of Hertz's sites near the airport.
"More and more ride-hail and taxi fleets are making bold commitments to electrify. To do so successfully, they will need access to reliable EV charging," said Vic Shao, president of BP Pulse's fleet division. "Our Gigahub network will provide a charging experience that is convenient and cost-optimized to drivers at airports across the country."
BP announced it was partnering with Hertz to develop a national network of EV charging stations powered by BP Pulse in September, as Convenience Store News previously reported. Hertz has assembled a fleet of EVs through large-scale purchases from Tesla, Polestar and General Motors. Its objective is for a quarter of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024, with continued growth through acquisitions from various EV manufacturers.
"Our aim is to provide Hertz customers with access to a national network of chargers that makes the experience of renting an electric vehicle convenient and seamless. Rideshare drivers are essential to the mobility landscape and more than 25,000 Uber drivers have rented EVs through Hertz to date," said Jeff Nieman, senior vice president of operations initiatives at Hertz. "We are thrilled to partner with BP Pulse to offer this charging hub to those drivers at one of Hertz's great sites near LAX. And it's just the beginning."
The development of the Gigahub network is part of BP Pulse's commitment to making the adoption of electric transportation simple, reliable and cost-effective, the company said. BP set a global goal of expanding its network of chargers to 100,000 by 2030.
"Vehicles employed by California's ride-hailing fleets make up 2.5 percent of the vehicle population, but consume 30 percent of all public fast charging," said Lead California Energy Commissioner for Transportation Patty Monahan. "The California Energy Commission is proud to support projects like the Gigahub network by BP Pulse, near LAX in partnership with Hertz, two transportation powerhouses who are working together to help electrify ride-hailing and rental fleets and cut pollution in communities."
Houston-based BP has different retail models across the U.S., ranging from company-owned retail stores, strategic partnerships, brand licensing, wholesale, business-to-business, dealer-owned and franchise-owned. Its mobility and convenience brands in the U.S. currently include BP, Amoco, ampm and Thorntons.