In September, energy company BP announced the formation of a partnership between its EV infrastructure and software division BP Pulse and Hertz to build a nationwide network of charging locations called Gigahubs. Hertz offers EVs at more than 500 locations in 38 states, BP Pulse had already started installing chargers at 25 Hertz locations this year. The formal partnership would expand the scale and the user base — starting with the Hertz fleet and renters, eventually encompassing the general public. Green Car Reports writes that thanks to a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), the partnership has announced its first Gigahub location at a Hertz outlet near LAX.
Details are thin for now, but it appears the station targets taxi and rideshare fleets. CEC commissioner Patty Monohan said, "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," one of the project's primary goals being to "mitigate the environmental impact" of gig-economy chauffeurs. The location would help Hertz especially, the rental company saying it has loaned vehicles to 25,000 Uber drivers.
The rumored plan is for the site to count 48 DC fast chargers in a few years, each station thought to be in the 150 kW to 350 kW DC fast charging range. The completed station would be prepped to service a fleet estimated to count 6,400 vehicles between taxis and ridesharing services. As the first public station in the partnership, it would form the template for what BP Pulse exec Vic Shao said would be "a charging experience that is convenient and cost-optimized to drivers at airports across the country." The chargers will run BP Pulse's Omega software that tracks and shares real-time usage and price data.
LAX is throwing copious amounts of money at charging capability. In August, airport authorities announced the installation of 1,300 Level 2 chargers at a new four-story, 4,300-space economy parking structure not far from the airport and at parking stations inside the airport itself. On top of that, energy company PowerFlex says it was contracted to put 500 Level 2 chargers and eight DC fast-chargers in the economy parking structure that's a short shuttle ride from the gates.
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