NATIONAL NEWS

Hertz order for Teslas ranks among biggest-ever EV purchases

Oct 25, 2021, 10:54 AM
FILE A sign is posted in front of a Hertz rental car office on Aug. 8, 2017, in San Francisco, Cali...
FILE A sign is posted in front of a Hertz rental car office on Aug. 8, 2017, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020, two months after the coronavirus erupted across the country. It was among the first major corporations to be felled by the pandemic as infections surged and shut down travel on a global scale for both companies and vacationers.

In October, Hertz named Fields, a former Ford Motor Co. CEO, as its interim chief executive.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Get...
Michael Houck, KSL-TV & Associated Press

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

'We are forced into motherhood'; Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Utah's trigger law banning most abortions in the state.
23 hours ago
FILE...
Associated Press

Officer suspended for off-duty actions at abortion protest

A Rhode Island police officer has been suspended from his job with pay after allegedly punching a woman while off-duty.
23 hours ago
A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach, according to police. (Credit: Indian River ...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach

A suspected land mine was removed from a Florida beach, according to police.
23 hours ago
FILE - This July 1, 2016, file photo shows Mega Millions lottery tickets on a counter at a Pilot tr...
Yenny Sanchez, CNN

South Carolina man wins $100,000 lottery after using strategy he saw on TV

A South Carolina man has won more than $100,000 after trying a lottery strategy inspired by an episode of TLC's 'Lottery Changed My Life.'
23 hours ago
SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 16: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, answers a question at a news conference about t...
REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press

Inslee seeks abortion rights amendment to state constitution

Washington Gov. Inslee said he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders.
23 hours ago
At least 150 cats were removed from a Winsted home in what police are calling a "cat hoarding" situ...
Evan Sobol & Eliza Kruczynski, WFSB

Police: At least 150 cats removed from Winsted home in ‘cat hoarding’ case

At least 150 cats were removed from a Connecticut home in what police are calling a “cat hoarding” situation.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Hertz order for Teslas ranks among biggest-ever EV purchases