What Rental Fleet EV Selloff Says About Future of Electrification

EV drivers often face long queues before charging while dealing with the complexity of 61,789 charging networks in the U.S. , Bluedot reports.

Photo: Chargepoint

The recent announcement by Hertz to sell off 20,000 electric vehicles, about a third of its EV rental fleet, has sparked a significant conversation about the current state of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the rental market, according to Bluedot, an EV charging management company for fleets.

What’s behind this backtracking?

Many drivers still aren’t familiar with EVs. That’s why renters crash EVs more often, according to Hertz. And when they do, the repair is often expensive and slow (because EV parts supply chains and repair networks are still maturing).

But that’s not the only problem with the EV renting experience.

EV Charging: A Major Concern 

Inadequate charging infrastructure is a significant roadblock to EV adoption, Bluedot reports. EV drivers often face long queues before charging. However, President Biden’s ‘Investing in America’ agenda, which includes aggressive investment in public charging stations, should help.

But there’s another problem with public charging infrastructure: complexity. There are about 30 companies controlling the 61,789 EV charging networks in the US. Each company has its own app. As a result, drivers could end up navigating multiple apps before they’re able to charge their owned or rented EV.

Navigating Through Challenges

Renting an EV could be a welcoming gateway to owning an electric vehicle, according to Ferhat Babacan, CEO of Bluedot, also a payments and rewards platform for EV fleets and drivers.

“As a former Zipcar employee, I’ve seen how EV renting is one of the most important verticals in the ecosyste,” he said in a March 13 news release from Bluedot. “Drivers can get to know EVs by renting them first. If all goes well, they’re more likely to go shopping for an all-electric later.”

Babacan added, “The key is that everything from driving to charging to managing expenses must be easy. But we know that fleet managers face a lot of challenges in delivering this seamless experience.”

Bluedot for fleets aims to transform the experience for rental fleets and their customers by easily handling payments for over 70% of U.S. charging stations in a single, intuitive app. This approach eliminates the need for multiple platforms. Bluedot’s app also provides real-time charger availability.

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