1 of 3 | EV maker Tesla is among those with supply agreements with rental company Hertz, which is now seeking to expand its market footprint in collaboration with U.S. mayors. Photo courtesy of Tesla
Jan. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. auto rental company Hertz said Thursday it started a new public-private initiative to offer more electric vehicle options, with an immediate focus on the Denver market.
Hertz is teaming up with U.S. mayors to help expand the rental options for EVs, with initial plans to bring up to 5,200 to the Denver area. More chargers, meanwhile, will be offered at the Denver International Airport and throughout the region.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said it's arrangements like these that lead to broader gains in the pursuit of a low-carbon footprint.
"Our goal is to reduce Denver's carbon emissions 80% by 2050, and expanding the use and availability of electric vehicles will play a major role in helping us achieve that goal," Hancock said.
At the corporate level, Hertz is working in collaboration with BP to utilize the company's high-speed electric charging network in its latest initiative, dubbed Hertz Electrifies. Hertz already has agreements to secure EVs from the likes of General Motors, Telsa and Polestar, a Volvo-backed EV start.
General Motors this year plans to sell Hertz some 175,000 of its Bolt EV line over the next five years. The agreement comes as GM is expected to increase its electric vehicle output significantly in the coming years. It hopes to reach 1 million EVs in North America and China by 2025.
Hertz, for its part, estimates that its customers could travel more than 8 billion miles in these electric vehicles.
Incentives offered from the federal government are supporting a broad-based rollout of EVs, while brands such as Tesla are lowering retail prices for their models to encourage demand.
Consultant group Wood Mackenzie estimates there will be around 750,000 EVs sold in the U.S. market in 2023 and that level could reach 2.7 million by the end of the decade.
"Electric vehicles are poised to transform the future of mobility," said Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr.