Chalk one up for Tesla. The automaker just got its single largest order of electric vehicles (EV) ever thanks to rental car company Hertz.
The company has spent $4.2 billion on an initial order of 100,000 Teslas that it will add to its fleet of vehicles. The company hopes to take delivery of the Teslas by the end of 2022, when it says it will have a ready supply of EV charging systems across its global network.
The move is a considerable shift from what consumers will currently find at Hertz lots. Once all the Teslas are in place, they’ll comprise more than 20% of the company’s global fleet. If all goes well, the move could also be just what Hertz needs to solidify its return from the brink of bankruptcy.
Hertz will also lean heavily on the branding power of perennial Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to showcase the “fast, seamless and more accessible” upsides of EV rentals.
What consumers can expect
In its announcement, Hertz said it is installing thousands of chargers throughout its 8,500-location network. The company didn’t say exactly how many of those charging stations will be in the U.S. alone, but it did say customers who rent a Tesla Model 3 will have access to 3,000 Tesla supercharging stations throughout both the U.S. and Europe.
Customers can also expect a different game plan when they rent a Tesla from Hertz. In a move away from the old-style process, the company says the EV rental experience will be “a premium and differentiated” one that includes digitized guidance to educate customers about the electric vehicle to get them on their way quickly. The company said an expedited EV rental booking process using the Hertz mobile app is also around the corner.
Electric vehicles have come of age
If there’s any doubt that EVs are quickly becoming mainstream and might catch gas-powered vehicle owners off guard, the numbers certainly look promising. Between 2020 and 2026, the size of the global electric vehicle market is expected to quadruple and reach an estimated global market size of $725 billion.
Hertz has been waiting for this moment to happen. It was the first U.S. car rental company to introduce EVs to its rental fleet in 2011.
"Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we've only just begun to see rising global demand and interest," said Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields. "The new Hertz is going to lead the way as a mobility company, starting with the largest EV rental fleet in North America and a commitment to grow our EV fleet and provide the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the world."