Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Hertz Invests to Have the Largest Electric Vehicle Rental Fleet in North America

The investment starts with an initial order of 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles.

Your chance of renting an electric vehicle will eventually increase significantly, as Hertz seeks to have the largest fleet of electric vehicles in North America — which will include an initial order of 100,000 vehicles manufactured by Tesla — by the end of 2022; and it will also boast a new infrastructure for charging those electric vehicles across the global operations of the rental car company.

Hertz Invests to Have the Largest Electric Vehicle Rental Fleet in North America

With the aforementioned order, electric vehicles will comprise of greater than 20 percent of the global fleet of Hertz; and is expected to be supported by a combination of Level 2 and DC fast charging stations in approximately 65 markets by the end of 2022 and greater than 100 markets by the end of 2023. However, these ambitions could be adversely affected by factors which are outside of the control of Hertz — such as the shortages of magnesium, rubber, and semiconductor chips — as well as other possible constraints.

Demand for electric vehicles has skyrocketed, and Hertz is positioning itself to meet that demand by increasing its supply of rental cars while simultaneously accelerating its commitment to lead the future of mobility and travel — and beginning in early November and expanding through the end of the year, customers will be able to rent a Tesla Model 3 electric car at both airport locations and neighborhood locations of Hertz in major markets in the United States and in select cities in Europe.

Approximately 40 percent of consumers in the United States are likely to consider purchasing an electric vehicle the next time they are in the market for a new vehicle, as sales of electric vehicles around the world have increased at least 200 percent in the last year and will likely continue to grow with commitments from global automakers to increase those sales. As an example, a minimum of three automakers in the United States pledged to boost sales of electric vehicles by up to 50 percent by the year 2030.

“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”, according to this official press release from Hertz from Monday, October 25, 2021. “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.”

The popularity of electric vehicles is due to their high efficiency, positive user experience, and climate change benefits — coupled with breakthrough technology for batteries and rapidly expanding charging networks. Drivers of electric vehicles also benefit from lower maintenance and fuel costs.

After This Offer, Expect Extra Charges With Charges

When you book a reservation for a Tesla Model 3 and charge at Tesla network chargers between Monday, November 1, 2021 and Monday, January 31, 2022, charging of the vehicle is included — but no word has official been given as to how much charging the vehicle will cost starting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

Also, idle fees at Tesla network chargers — as well as charging and idle fees at third-party chargers — are excluded from this offer.

Issues Still Prevalent With Electric Vehicles

One problem is the life span of the batteries which power electric cars. Batteries can be quite expensive when they need to be replaced, as they can cost thousands of dollars — but I also understand that the life of batteries has been significantly improving as well. As one example — coincidentally on the same day as the announcement from Hertz — Panasonic unveiled a more advanced prototype battery which has five times the storage capacity of current ones, according to this article written by Tim Kelly for Reuters: “Tesla wants the cheaper cobalt-free Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries for its standard-range electric vehicles but needs to figure out how to overcome political tensions to get a Chinese partner to build the iron-based batteries near its U.S. factories.” That can pose yet another potential issue.

“The agreement supplies Tesla with Panasonic’s lithium-ion battery cells to build more than 80,000 vehicles over the next four years”, according to this official press release from Panasonic. “It guarantees the availability of enough cells in 2012 to meet Tesla’s aggressive production ramp-up and fulfillment of more than 6,000 existing Model S reservations. This supply agreement helps ensure Tesla will meet its cost and margin targets for Model S.”

Furthermore, the range of miles on one charge for a Tesla Model 3 is up to 260 miles, which should serve many purposes — but until the aforementioned electric charging infrastructure is created and in use across the United States, a long road trip currently is not as easy as with a vehicle powered by gasoline or diesel.

Another question I have is where exactly does the electricity come from to charge the car — coal? Oil? Natural gas? Solar power? Wind power? Hydroelectric power? Nuclear power? A combination thereof?

Final Boarding Call

One of my biggest questions is just how environmentally friendly are electric cars — not so much from the actual use of them; but rather how they are manufactured…

…but I understand that manufacturing electric cars has become more environmentally friendly over the years — so one day, that may not be much of an issue.

Do not get me wrong — I am on board with driving a nice, quiet electric car, which never requires an oil change, is not equipped with a transmission, has no messy fuel tank, does not pollute the air as it spews out zero emissions, and has a plethora of other benefits over conventional vehicles…

…but electric vehicles still have disadvantages to them — and those disadvantages are diminishing as the technology improves. I need to do more research on electric vehicles to come up with more concrete facts — and if and when I do, I will impart them in a future article.

The nice part is that anyone who is considering purchasing an electric vehicle will be able to try one out first by renting one if he or she does not want to take a test drive at a sales office.

This commitment by Hertz — which was the first rental car company in the United States to introduce electric vehicles to its rental fleet in 2011 and the first rental car company to implement a wireless charging system for electric vehicles — is remarkable when considering that the rental car company successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy back on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, which is only a scant four months ago as of tomorrow, Saturday, October 30, 2021…

…but this announcement from Hertz reminded me of the announcement during the late spring of 2021 from United Airlines, which entered into an agreement with Boom Supersonic to purchase a fleet of 15 airplanes which will be capable of supersonic travel — with an option to acquire 35 additional airplanes — in an effort to return supersonic speed to commercial aviation as soon as 2029…

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.


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