Avis Budget Group and EverCharge, an SK Group company and provider of large-scale electric vehicle (EV) charging devices, have launched EV charging stations at Houston’s George Bush International Airport, according to a Jan. 26 press release.
The charging stations will power Avis and Budget’s fleet of EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) available for rent at the airport.
EverCharge’s load balancing software, SmartPower, 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.
SmartPower allows EverCharge partners (like Avis Budget) to install more stations than would be available with traditional charging systems – without a strain to the existing energy grid or the need for costly utility upgrades. Although EverCharge has stations at multiple locations, this is the first large-scale charging solution at an airport.
“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. “We are committed to offering the best possible experience for our customers, and this requires investing in leading technology that integrates with the diverse EV fleet that our OEM partners will deliver. At Avis Budget Group, we believe the road to electrification rests on a foundation of charging infrastructure. We’re excited to be partnering with the SK Group to advance our strategy, and we’re proud to showcase this large-scale operation at the George Bush International Airport in Houston as a proof point of the developments to come.”
The partnership between Avis Budget and EverCharge in Houston is designed to serve as a model for scalable fleet electrification planning at other U.S. airports. Additionally, it’s the latest example of Avis Budget’s belief that electrification is the future of mobility.
“EverCharge is on a mission to enable the widespread adoption of EVs by providing intelligent software and hardware charging solutions that leverage the capabilities of existing electrical infrastructure,” said Jason Appelbaum, CEO of EverCharge. “Our partnership with Avis Budget Group is an important step to realizing that mission, and a prime example of EverCharge’s ability to advance our partners’ sustainability strategies. We are proud to be leading the charge with Avis Budget Group to accelerate the decarbonization of the transportation sector and bring us another step closer to a clean, all-electric future.”
This partnership comes after EverCharge’s acquisition last year by SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate. SK Group is investing billions of dollars in U.S. energy solutions and sustainable technologies to fulfill its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 200 million tons in 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, SK Group’s vice chairman and head of U.S. corporate and government affairs. “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.”
Following the launch at George Bush International Airport, Avis Budget Group and EverCharge plan to extend this partnership to additional U.S. airport locations this year.