Hertz So Good: Rental Giant’s 100k Order Puts Tesla in Driver’s Seat

October 25, 2021

Significantly, further down, article notes that Hertz will be investing in 3000 new charging stations, both at rental locations and in “suburban areas”.

Associated Press:

DETROIT (AP) — Hertz announced Monday that it will buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, one of the largest purchases of battery-powered cars in history and the latest evidence of the nation’s increasing commitment to EV technology.

The purchase by one of the world’s leading rental car companies reflects its confidence that electric vehicles are gaining acceptance with environmentally minded consumers as an alternative to vehicles powered by petroleum-burning internal combustion engines.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mark Fields, Hertz’ interim CEO, said that Teslas are already arriving at the company’s sites and should be available for rental starting in November. 

Hertz said in its announcement that it will complete its purchases of the Tesla Model 3 small cars by the end of 2022. It also said it will establish its own electric vehicle charging network as it strives to produce the largest rental fleet of electric vehicles in North America. 

Fields wouldn’t say how much Hertz is spending for the order. But he said the company has sufficient capital and a healthy balance sheet after having emerged from bankruptcy protection in June.

The deal likely is worth around $4 billion because each Model 3 has a base price of about $40,000. It also ranks at the top of the list of electric vehicle orders by a single company. In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, a startup manufacturer of electric van, pickup trucks and SUVs. Amazon is an investor in Rivian.

Shares of Tesla hit an intraday record Monday before pulling back slightly. They were up 7% to $973.85 by mid-morning. The share price increase boosted the market value of Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, to just over $900 billion.

In his interview with the AP, Fields made clear his belief that electric vehicles are increasingly moving into the mainstream and that Hertz intends to be a leading provider of EVs to rental customers. He pointed to surveys showing that over the past five years, consumer interest in electric vehicles has grown dramatically.

“More are willing to try and buy,” he said. “It’s pretty stunning.”

Fields said that Hertz, which is based in Estero, Florida, is in discussions with other automakers, too, about buying additional electric vehicles as it expands its EV fleet as more models enter the marketplace.

Hertz also is investing in its own charging network. Fields said it has plans for 3,000 chargers in 65 locations across the United States by the end of 2022 and 4,000 by the end of 2023. Many of the sites will be at Hertz locations such as airports, he said, while others will be in suburban areas.

Customers also would be able to use Tesla’s own large charging network for a fee, Fields said. The company has a network of about 25,000 chargers worldwide.

Fields declined to say how much Hertz will charge to rent the Teslas or whether they would be more expensive for customers than gas-powered vehicles.

Daniel Ives, a technology analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note Monday to investors that Hertz’s order represents a “major feather in the cap” for Tesla and shows that a broad adoption of electric vehicles is under way “as part of this oncoming green tidal wave hitting the U.S.”

China and Europe have been ahead of the U.S. on vehicle electrification. But demand in the United States is accelerating, Ives noted, with Tesla leading the way, followed by startup Lucid Motors, General Motors, Ford and others that are chasing a potential $5 trillion market opportunity over the next decade.

5 Responses to “Hertz So Good: Rental Giant’s 100k Order Puts Tesla in Driver’s Seat”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Many people who are iffy on buying an EV will try a rented one. Even those who never thought of getting an EV themselves might end up with one on a business trip (the company’s dime) and get that quiet, smooth-acceleration bug.

    Now that I know about this, I’m thinking of renting Teslas for certain family members for a week just to get them hooked (or at least more aware).

    • greenman3610 Says:

      moreover, it means that other rental agencies will follow, and in a few years, there will start to be an aftermarket of really well maintained, relatively low mileage EVs for sale. I’ve bought some really great cars that were rentals.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        This is one of those rare upsides* of major disruption and destruction allowing for a rethink and rebuild that would never have happened in a business-as-usual world: Hertz had to sell off most of its ICE car fleet to survive the damage the pandemic did to rental business. The lower maintenance cost of EVs will mean more to the bottom line of a car rental agency than to other businesses, and for their own sakes will push EVs to curious and ambivalent customers.

        *The classic example cited in economics is that post-WW2 Germany pretty much had to rebuild its bombed-out manufacturing sector with modern tech, while the US got complacent with its legacy factories.

  2. mboli Says:

    Some customers will return their car in the morning after spending the night at an airport-area hotel which has Tesla chargers.

    The rest of us will likely be paying a recharging fee.

    Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    But I guess the recharging fee will be larger than one would like because customers won’t have a good alternative. You can’t just stop at the charging station a few miles before returning the car.

    Hertz certainly knows how many miles the average rental is driven, they have gamed out how they can price recharging fee

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      They have plenty of maintenance-related reasons for accelerating the public transition to EVs, so let us hope they’re aware of how they can sour public opinion if they gouge on recharging.

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