Bridgestone Retail Operations, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, plans to expand its electric and hybrid vehicle services at 44 of the company’s Firestone Complete Auto Care and Wheel Works stores in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, California. The advanced services are part of the company’s broader initiative to address an increasingly electric car parc and contribute to a more sustainable society, the company says.
In partnership with Blink Charging, Bridgestone said it will also install a total of 50 level two plug-in electric vehicle charging stations at 25 Firestone Complete Auto Care and Wheel Works stores in select markets beginning early 2022.
While electric vehicle services today account for less than 10% of total services at their retail operations nationwide, Bridgestone said demand is expected to increase significantly by the end of the decade. It is estimated that battery-electric and hybrid vehicles will represent more than half of the overall U.S. car parc by 2030. Moreover, the number of electric vehicle models in the U.S. is expected to increase from 50 in 2019, to more than 200 available electric vehicle models by 2026.
According to Bridgestone, the new advanced electric and hybrid vehicle services offered in Austin and San Francisco consist of inspections, diagnostics, maintenance and repairs involving high-voltage components, including health checks and troubleshooting for batteries, electric motors and electrical systems.
Bridgestone currently offers low-voltage hybrid and battery electric vehicle services at all of its Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works retail stores nationwide. The company also implements basic and advanced safety training for work on hybrid and electric vehicles at all technician levels.
Bridgestone said its retail stores further contribute to the company’s sustainability goals through a robust recycling program that resulted in diverting 12.7 million tires, 5.6 million pounds of scrap metal and 18.1 million metal drums from landfills in 2020, in addition to reducing paper use equivalent to one Central Park worth of trees.