Bridgestone Retail Operations (Bridgestone), 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, Calif. 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.
While electric vehicle services today account for less than 10% of total services at Bridgestone’s retail operations nationwide, 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.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the automotive service industry as mobility evolves to be cleaner and more sustainable,” said Marko Ibrahim, president, Bridgestone Retail Operations. “We truly believe what’s good for society is good for business, which is why we are increasing our investments in plug-in vehicle services in two key markets with plans to expand further in the future. The steps we take now will ensure we are the service provider of choice for new-energy vehicles.”
Bridgestone also announced it will install a total of 50 level two EV charging stations at 25 Firestone Complete Auto Care and Wheel Works stores in the first quarter of 2022. Provided by Blink Charging, a leading owner and operator of electric vehicle charging equipment and services, the charging stations will be installed at stores in Austin, Texas; Denver; Los Angeles; and San Francisco, where the current volume and growth of electric vehicles is significant.
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 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.