DENVER — Rental car company Hertz has announced a partnership with the city of Denver to launch its new “Hertz Electrifies” electric vehicle initiative.
The company will add up to 5,200 more electric vehicles (EVs) into circulation in the Denver area for customers and rideshare drivers. It will also work with the city and BP to add more charging stations throughout Denver, prioritizing the Denver International Airport and neighborhoods.
“Hertz is proud to launch Hertz Electrifies in partnership with the city of Denver, which is fast becoming a center for sustainability under the leadership of Mayor Michael Hancock,” Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr said in a statement.
The city of Denver has set a goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050, with EVs playing an integral part in the overall plan.
Bonnie Trowbridge, executive director of Drive Clean Colorado, said investments like this go a long way in convincing prospective buyers that an electric vehicle can become their regular mode of transportation.
“This is what we do all day every day, is talk to people about EVs,” Trowbridge said. “Common concerns are, "Where am I going to charge it? Can I afford it?" We get a lot of questions about people saying, "Can I take a road trip in it?" So, we talk with people about all that kind of stuff.”
Currently, there are 4,625 charging ports across Colorado, according to the state, with nearly 73,000 EVs on the road. Trowbridge said tax incentives offered by the state help make electric vehicles more affordable for families, and increased locations to charge increase their usability.
“I think people in Colorado tend to be very forward thinking, so electric vehicles make sense,” Trowbridge said, stressing the importance of adopting more environmentally-conscious modes of transportation. “There’s a lot at stake. There’s children’s health. There’s, you know, all of our health. There’s our beautiful mountains. You know, if we keep having fires and floods, are we going to be able to ski? Are we going to be able to enjoy the things that we like? Are we going to be able to go on a peaceful hike? Those things may all become a thing of the past if we can’t get ourselves figured out here.”
In addition to expanding its EV fleet and charging stations, Hertz also plans to offer summer job opportunities through the Denver Youth Employment Program, and provide EVs, tools, and training to students in the auto certificate program at Montbello Career and Technical High School, the company said.