By on October 25, 2021

After managing to avoid what appeared to be certain death, Hertz has decided to purchase 100,000 Tesla vehicles before the end of 2022. Considering the firm was filling out Chapter 11 bankruptcy forms this time last year, the estimated $4.2 billion expenditure designed to ensure that 20 percent of its global fleet is electric does feel slightly frivolous. But Hertz says it’s getting out ahead of the curve and is interested in becoming a “mobility company,” rather than a business that just rents people automobiles.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” said 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.”

Fields joined Hertz in June, becoming CEO this October, and previously led the Ford Motor Co. from 2014 to 2017 — where he focused on transforming the automaker into a technology-focused firm. While the term itself is the Lorem Ipsum of empty industry jargon, claiming your business was going to evolve into a “mobility company” was popularized by Fields as he tried to pivot Ford toward becoming data-driven and more interested in electrification.

However, he received the boot from Blue Oval after an internal power struggle with Joe Hinrichs and took the blame for the manufacturer’s declining sales and lackluster stock performance. While we can debate whether Fields became a sacrificial lamb for angry investors or if his ideas were actually any good, Ford ultimately stayed on the pathways he laid out.

Hertz said it will begin adding Tesla products to its fleet in November. But the full 100,000 units don’t have to be purchased until the end of 2022 due to logistical worries (the chip shortage was mentioned) and making sure locations are set up to charge vehicles when not in use. Tesla renters will reportedly be given preferential treatment and subjected to a reeducation program about the merits of EVs.

From Hertz:

Hertz also is installing thousands of chargers throughout its location network. Customers who rent a Tesla Model 3 will have access to 3,000 Tesla supercharging stations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Hertz will offer a premium and differentiated rental experience for the Tesla EVs. This includes digitized guidance to educate customers about the electric vehicle to get them on their way quickly, and coming soon, an expedited EV rental booking process through the Hertz mobile app.

With the current order, EVs will comprise more than 20 percent of Hertz global fleet and is expected to be supported by a combination of Level 2 and DC fast charging in approximately 65 markets by the end of 2022 and more than 100 markets by the end of 2023. Hertz said these ambitions could be affected by factors outside of Hertz’s control, such as semiconductor chip shortages or other constraints.

While Model 3s should be available across North America and Europe almost immediately, Hertz said it would be focusing on fielding them at metropolitan airport locations to start. To help them advertise this, they’ve opted to employ seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Having been needlessly hard on the football legend in the past, I’ll save any negative things I have to say about him for another time. Regardless of what I think, he’s hardly a stranger to product endorsements and will undoubtedly do an exemplary job hawking rental EVs.

“Hertz is changing the game when it comes to the future of mobility and has come through for me time and time again,” Brady said. “Although the company has been around for over 100 years, their constant evolution, especially now, is something that is amazing to be a part of. I’ve been driving an EV for years and knowing Hertz is leading the way with their electric fleet speaks to how the world is changing and the way companies are approaching being environmentally and socially conscious. I’ve always loved how easy and convenient Hertz makes it for me when I’m traveling to my favorite places like New York, LA and Tampa and can’t wait to see what they continue to have in store.”

See? Despite how creepy some people understandably find him, the dude is a complete professional. Perhaps you’ll even match his football prowess if you rent from the same company that pays him money to say things.

Meanwhile, news that Hertz was buying up EVs resulted in bumping Tesla’s stock to a $1 trillion market cap. The info brought Tesla stock to more than $1,045 per share by noon, resulting in a new record just one trading day after the shares broke $900. The stock closed up 12.66 percent at about $1,022 a share. Bloomberg cited it as the largest ever single purchase of EVs, estimating the total cost at $4.2 billion.

CEO Elon Musk issued a celebratory tweet suggesting that these were “wild times.”

[Images: Hertz]

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87 Comments on “Hertz Buying 100,000 Tesla Vehicles for Rental Fleet, Brady Endorsement...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is a huge deal, assuming the 100,000 vehicle order isn’t just vapor.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      And just like that Tesla is 1/3rd fleet/rental sales…

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @NormSV650
        “And just like that Tesla is 1/3rd fleet/rental sales…”

        They’re on track to deliver close to a million cars this year. So far this year it’s 627k. The Hertz order is only about 1/6th of what’s been delivered so far. My guess is that the 100k cars will be distributed over a year or more.

        One thought. I wonder if Hertz will get any Shanghai cars? If, and when Berlin starts production, that will free up some capacity at Shanghai. Austin will be ramping up and should help, but not sure it will be enough.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Hertz is international?

          Tesla only sold 200k in 2020 in the U.S.

          SV name was probably the same name as here. Fun bike and super efficient for my one hour commute at the time getting 74 mpg.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “Hertz is international?”

            Yes, it’s actually in their corporate name. From their web site:

            “The Hertz Corporation, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental brands throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.”

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          So is Beckham endorsing Hertz/Tesla too like Brady?

      • 0 avatar
        SnarkIsMyDefault

        Norm,

        Naked or S model? And what’s your old SVRider name? (Not to go off topic or anything…)

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ And just like that Tesla is 1/3rd fleet/rental sales…”

        That’s not surprising. Gotta dump the turds somewhere.

        But from Hertz standpoint this is amazingly shortsighted for a company just out of bankruptcy. Rather then spend far less getting far more vehicles that are far more capable and would serve far more people, they buy what is essentially the Lime Scooter of the automotive world.

        Maybe their next bankruptcy will be chapter 7. And with amazingly stupid decisions like this I can see it happening sooner than later.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “their electric fleet speaks to how the world is changing and the way companies are approaching being environmentally and socially conscious”

    They (Brady) need to strike this language. I would guess most Tesla buyers don’t care much about this agenda, and neither do rental customers.

    People who rent a Model 3:
    1. Just want to get to their destination.
    and/or
    2. Want to tell people they rented a Tesla.
    and
    3. Will certainly pay a premium to do so.

    Since these vehicles are already becoming available next month, this is another reason why it is so hard for a regular consumer to get a Model 3 right now, particularly a lower-end version. Hertz’ contract price tells me these are mostly lower-end cars.

    It’s a pretty impressive endorsement for a car that started production only four years ago. Tesla is at a 1-million unit annualized production rate, so this represents a big bump in one shot.

    I assume Hertz is buying these because of a presumed lower operating cost (like the erstwhile Semi truck), but they will have to service them also. I can’t imagine the Tesla repair guy rolling up to the Hertz store on demand.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Being socially conscious might resonate with a portion of Tesla owners. But for most people who buy hybrids or non-ICE cars it is the money that moves them. Or the pass that allows single drivers in the HOV lanes. I’ve seen plenty of right-wing stuff plastered on these types of cars. If electric cars are going to be mainstream then the average buyer must see a good personal business case.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “If electric cars are going to be mainstream then the average buyer must see a good personal business case.”

        The only way that is going to happen is if they drop overall production down another roughly 30% as they have done for this year vs 2019 (12m 2021 units vs 2019’s 17m). That’s how EV succeeds, by 50% of the competition being never produced in the first place – but they won’t tell you that when they shout from the mountaintops EV achieved 10% market share. Would you like lies with that? Just like everything else from State Media.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    The nearest Tesla supercharger is 30 to 40 minutes away.

    So renters would have to drive a long way out of their way, and wait for the cars to be charged.

    Rental car customers aren’t known for taking care of the cars. Now you expect them to spend hours dealing with charging?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You can charge a Tesla anywhere, but until recently you can’t charge other EVs at a Supercharger.

      Any fast DC charger will work on a Tesla, and they have become fairly plentiful.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “The nearest Tesla supercharger is 30 to 40 minutes away.”

      Superchargers are mostly for road-trips.

      An EV can charge at medium-speed (overnight) from the same kind of electrical service used for dryers and stoves.

      A Hertz location will need a relatively number of those connection to charge the cars when they return, but it’s just a matter of hiring the right electrical contractor and writing a sufficiently large checlk.

      On the other hand, if your home or business does not have electrical service, then an EV is not for you.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I wonder if Hertz is going to charge $1 per kWH if you return the car with a less-than-full tank?

    I hope not, because:
    1. That would be a ripoff price similar to what happens with gas cars at the rental agency.
    and
    2. An idle 100% full battery is bad for lithium ion. But maybe these will be LFP batteries, which are more hardy.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The only way this will possibly work in terms of the customer-experience is if Hertz recharges the car on-site after you drop it off without charging extra.

      THey’d be crazy to do anything different, especially with customers who are probably unfamiliar with EVs.

      Also, Destination Chargers are a lot easier to install than an on-site gas station, so it won’t be difficult.

      But, yeah, doing anything other than charging the car without-complaint (or extra charges) would be destroy Hertz’s (and Tesla’s) brands. They’re probably smart enough to avoid that?

  • avatar
    SnarkIsMyDefault

    ” Tesla renters will reportedly be given preferential treatment and subjected to a reeducation program about the merits of EVs.”

    Oh PLEASE! Tell us more about that reeducation program!! (I’ll be busy popping popcorn and waiting for comments…)

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Fleet queen

  • avatar
    deanst

    Amazing how selling to rental firms is usually associated with firms desperate to unload their inventory (Nissan, Hyundai, Stellantis), but when Tesla does it, it’s a sign of strength. Musk really is a boy genius.

    Tesla has guaranteed it will sell everything it can produce for the next year or so. Wonder what is next up Elon’s sleeve?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You apparently haven’t looked at Tesla’s sales trajectory in the last few years.

      Or are you one of those people who thinks they just push their turd cars into the ocean because they can’t unload them, then make up numbers on their annual reports in the hopes nobody will catch on?

      By the way, I happen to see rental cars as a sign of confidence by the company in the vehicles they buy. They don’t want maintenance nightmares cluttering their service bays or not generating revenue.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @deanst Sir, Nissan, Hyundai, Stellantis usually get rented to the guys wearing Jos A Bank suits who buy how to succeed at business books at the airport gift shops. Teslas will go to Hertz’s Prestige or Premier class; or whatever it is.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I also wonder if these are “at risk” vehicles, or has Tesla agreed to buy them back at a pre-arranged price? It wouldn’t surprise me to see that Tesla has agreed to buy them back at a very elevated price, making the cost to Hertz similar to an ICE vehicle.

    The terms of the “refueling” will also be interesting. Do they expect business travellers to find a charger and fill it before returning the vehicle? If not, how are they going to recharge thousands of vehicles every day?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Those predatory refueling charges are a big part of the hosing you get when you rent…wonder why they would be willing to give up that cash cow…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My prediction: these will be focused on major city airport locations, where they will install a large power feed and a bank of chargers, and they’ll profit by charging a higher daily rate and then advertising to drivers that they don’t have to worry about the recharge.

      I would bet that most rentals from those locations don’t even travel the full range of a Model 3 while checked out. I just today got back from a trip to Raleigh, where I rented a Pacifica from Hertz (because National was out of cars), and covered about 220 miles with it over the course of three full days.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My prediction: these will be focused on major city airport locations, where they will install a large power feed and a bank of chargers, and they’ll profit by charging a higher daily rate and then advertising to drivers that they don’t have to worry about the recharge.

      I would bet that most rentals from those locations don’t even travel the full range of a Model 3 while checked out. I just today got back from a trip to Raleigh, where I rented a Pacifica from Hertz (because National was out of cars), and covered about 220 miles with it over the course of three full days. A Model 3 could have done fine without a recharge (although it would not have carried the 7 people + luggage that I squeezed into the van at one point).

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      How much is the penalty for returning it without fully charged battery?

      What is the pre-payment charge for charging?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Tesla has no “at risk” vehicles, given their sales trajectory. They are setting sales and profit records while pushing delivery times out to 3-6 months.

      Do you really think Tesla is struggling to move cars?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    “Mobility Company”…ugh I could puke. Brady? Double puke.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I’m glad that this Brady fellow was identified as some sort of footballist. That must be a draw for some people, I suppose.

    Who is responsible when one of these poorly-maintained EVs burns a hotel down? Hertz? The customer? Tom Brady?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    But imagine the extraordinary cabin air filter and tire rotation maintenance costs for this huge fleet!!!

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    Check your tire inflation first!

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    Guess the $41 mill the Tampa Bay Bucs are paying Brady can’t make ends meet.

  • avatar

    That’s why I love working for new tech companies – you can make tons of money on stock options and even ESPP. But of course you have to work more that 60h a week. Well done Tesla!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    These will rent for what, $150-$200/day all in?

    What do big companies typically negotiate for rental cars when employees travel? Maybe $60/day?

    For Hertz’ sake, I hope this works. Competition’s a beautiful thing.

  • avatar

    Without knowing the actual terms of the deal this is just a press release.
    1. Don’t be gentle, it’s a rental….how will Hertz deal with parts, damage, etc ? Will they be in line at the service center with the plebes or will they have dedicated shops ?
    2. What sort of computer programming will they have ? I’m sure FSD, Plaid, etc won’t be on that list, but how will they compare with the private versions ? Will Nanny step in on your third full throttle run ?
    3. I take the Tesla on a long drive…I run out of battery. What result ? Do they send a truck ? Am I charged for that ?
    4. Will a Tesla survive rental life ?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “I take the Tesla on a long drive…I run out of battery. What result ? Do they send a truck ? Am I charged for that ?”

      Probably the same thing they do for a gas car. Will they charge you? Of course.

      “Will a Tesla survive rental life ?”
      They survive as taxis, so why not. The Teslas with the highest mileage in the 400k range are taxis. I assuming Hertz won’t push them to 400k, but it’s been done.

  • avatar
    watersketch

    Another football star doing commercials for Hertz? They should buy some Broncos and get you-know-who!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Interesting Tesla is going into fleet, since fleet is not usually the exciting -or profitable – place to be. I’m sure its part of a good long term strategy though, and this move will give Tesla some experience on the rental side as well as product exposure to folks such as myself who have never piloted one. Next I’d look for them to partner with a national chain needing EV vans, maybe something like an UPS or FedEx. EV has real commercial applications, pity its over a decade in before anyone is trying to tap it.

  • avatar
    probert

    “reeducation”? What is your problem? This stuff is happening why not drop the constant attitude and write about the future of the truth about cars. Here’s a truth about cars: Electric cars are a joy to drive, and what is happening is happening whether you think it is a commie plot or not. and hey – as a happy by-product, other peoples’ children don’t have to go die in a god forsaken desert, so people can idle their SUVs at the piggly wiggly.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      The United States could produce enough oil to be energy independent and briefly was during the last administration. EVs use metals like cobalt that often mined by children in the 3rd world. No matter what you drive or consume, it has ramifications elsewhere.

      If you prefer EVs that’s just fine. They can work well for a lot of people. But the assertion that they have no ecological consequences is pure propaganda. I don’t care what you drive so long as it works for you and you haven’t deluded yourself into thinking electrics are miracle machines that don’t pollute.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        1) Pick any of our largest oil suppliers and you’re going to find it morally compromised. Mexico has drug cartels that operate in this country. Saudi Arabia has an ATROCIOUS human rights record. Russia has screwed with our elections, and several thousand nuclear weapons pointed at us as we speak. And on and on.

        2) No one says EVs will be free of ecological consequences.

        The question is whether you want a world that’s moved away from fossil fuels or not. Leaving out the whole climate change issue, this is much is obvious: fossil fuels are finite by definition, and they cause immense pollution problems that have nothing to do with climate change. As global energy needs increase, these problems will multiply.

        The change won’t be simple or easy. But it needs to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “The United States could produce enough oil to be energy independent and briefly was during the last administration.”

        I posted this on another thread when the same energy independance fantasy popped up. No sense wasting my time on a separate rebuttal:

        “Russia has twice the oil reserves we do and Saudi Arabia has four times the oil reserves we do”
        That is very true. There is a thing known as “strategic oil reserve”. If the USA quite literally burns through all of its own oil reserves so old fart whiners can have cheap gas then it is militarily at mercy of other countries. China could generate enough oil to be self sufficient but they do not. Ask yourself why?

        A war will most likely occur between China and USA over Taiwan. Do you think it would be wize to drain the USA’s reserves just so you can claim energy independence or get to drive on the cheap?

        At the current rate of consumption the USA will run out of oil by 2060. That’s less that 2 generations away.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ The United States could produce enough oil to be energy independent and briefly was during the last administration. EVs use metals like cobalt that often mined by children in the 3rd world. No matter what you drive or consume, it has ramifications elsewhere.”

        Talk about some inconvenient truths. We have the resources here to produce enough oil and natural gas for our needs currently and very far into the future. Also, EVs are amazingly bad for the environment and end up doing more damage than ICE vehicles. On top of that they are orders of magnitude behind ICE vehicles.

        Now people that are incapable of critical thought will just parrot what they hear on CNN and claim that we were never energy independent and we don’t have enough oil for anything. That is just sheer ignorance. The Bakker oil reserve has 40+ billion barrels of oil and the US is using less oil now than in 1995.

        But hey. What’s better than using our resources that we have here? Not using it, buying oil from our enemies, and pushing these laughably bad EVs. Let’s go Brandon.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    “Electric vehicles are now mainstream” uh yeah, except they’re not. Not yet. Maybe change that 100,000 order to 10,000.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Proud of Hertz. Proud of Tesla. Just hope it’s embraced nationwide and not a case of go woke go broke!

  • avatar
    Carrera

    Oh boy, I see an acute need for tow trucks all of a sudden. There will be some dead cars on the side of the road..

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Unlikely. As a new EV driver, I watched the gas gauge constantly.

      If you’re not seeing dead EVs today, you won’t see them later.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “If you’re not seeing dead EVs today, you won’t see them later.”

        2.3% market share with mostly affluent buyers may explain why you don’t see them today. Once the proles get involved it is a certainty it happens its just a question of how often.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I’m thinking once the novelty wears off Hertz will have trouble renting these due to range anxiety

    • 0 avatar
      beachy

      In my big Southern city Tesla Model 3s are everywhere. Never seen one on the back of a tow truck, and I see lots of tow trucks too.

    • 0 avatar
      beachy

      @SCEtoAUX is right. People who run out of gas are people who are familiar with the car and used to running on fumes. A new EV driver is going to watch the needle obsessively, due to the aforementioned range anxiety. And of course they are going to get a full battery from Hertz and the car will warn them if there is a problem. I am guessing the Teslas will be very popular rentals. I don’t like Elon Musk, I think he is a jerk, but I wouldn’t bet against him either.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m looking forward to renting one, the best way to find out if I could live full time with an EV

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    Why GM pays Mary Barra over $20 million a year to shrinking old company?

  • avatar
    JMII

    If there is a charger at my hotel this works fine for me as a business traveler. In fact refueling before returning is the last pain point to remove in the car rental process. Hertz can recharge these overnight on the lots, which has to be easier then refueling cars that come in short.

    But what does Brady know about renting cars? He gets a bus ride with the rest of the team at away games after getting off their private charter flight. He likely hasn’t rented a car in decades as someone will send a limo anyplace he goes.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    A renter can climb into any ICE vehicle, start the engine, put it into gear and drive off. Someone completely new to Tesla will require instruction to unlock the car, wake it up and get going. It’s not hard but it is different. I wonder how much that will intimidate prospective renters who just need transportation.

    How will Hertz prices compare with vehicle sharing services like Turo? One of them should put a cap on what the other can charge.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    evil el Scotto checking in. I grew up in a small town in Indiana. One of the lawyers in town, it’s the county seat, was proud that his new Mercedes had a built-in anti-theft alarm. You know what else sets off a late 70’s Mercedes car alarm? A teenage boy shaking said Mercedes and running like heck. Fast forward a few decades. Suit-wearing el Scotto is bored and intoxicated in his hotel room on a business trip. What keeps evil el Scotto to take his cocktail out to the hotel parking lot and unplugging some EVs? It could happen.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Ah well…all of my status is at National. As I am not paying for fuel, I’ll make do with the Tundra I have gotten the past 2 trips.

  • avatar
    FutureLuddite

    Didn’t Hertz have OJ Simpson as a spokesperson?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The Truth Hertz.

    (No OJ analogies? No Mark Fields remarks? The commentariat ain’t what it used to be.) [I blame Canada.]

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