Rental car giant Avis Budget Group is collaborating with EverCharge to deploy what is claimed to be the first large-scale electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at an airport.
The stations will power Avis and Budget’s fleet of EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs that are available to rent at George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.
Following the rollout of the Houston airport infrastructure, Avis Budget Group and EverCharge plan to extend the partnership to additional airport locations this year.
Rental car companies are quickly jumping on board the EV transition as they are following automotive OEMs that are in the process of the largest transition in automotive history. In September 2022, Hertz signed an agreement to buy 175,000 EVs from General Motors over the next five years. A move that would widen Hertz’s electric fleet simultaneously as GM accelerates its own move to electrification.
This was after Hertz already agreed to buy 65,000 Polestar EVs and add 50,000 Telsa EVs to its U.S. fleet in the past two years.
EverCharge’s SmartPower infrastructure enables large-scale, networked EV charging by managing and controlling electric loads, analyzing the charging patterns of EVs and allocating available power based on the individual vehicle’s need. The infrastructure allows users to install more stations than would be available with traditional charging systems without straining the energy grid or any need of utility upgrades.
“An optimal charging infrastructure is a necessary condition to support a seamless transition to an electrified fleet,” said Joe Ferraro, president and CEO at Avis Budget Group.
Ferraro said the road to transitioning to electrification needs a foundation of EV charging infrastructure. The large-scale operation at George Bush International Airport is the first project of more developments to come, the company said.
Future of mobility
The Avis Budget Group and EverCharge is designed to show a model of how to manage a scalable fleet of EVs at airports in the U.S. Avis said electrification is the future of mobility and sustainable fleets will require EV charging as a core component to success.
These types of partnerships will help Avis Budget to reach its 2030 environmental target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 30%.
SK Group acquired EverCharge last year as part of the conglomerate’s move to invest heavily in U.S. energy solutions and sustainable technologies to reduce carbon emissions by 200 million tons by 2030, or 1% of the global carbon reduction targets needed to address climate change.
“The adoption of EVs across the U.S. auto market is encouraging, but this growth requires a transformation of our energy systems,” said Jeong Joon Yu, vice chairman and head of U.S. corporate and government affairs at SK Group. “The collaboration between Avis Budget Group and EverCharge is intended to provide the infrastructure needed for a clear pathway to cleaner forms of transportation for rental customers.”