© Hertz Rental-car giant to start rolling out Tesla Model 3s early next month and will provide customers free charging at Tesla stations through February 2022
UPDATE 10/25/2021, 1:30 p.m.: Hertz's purchase deal is for Tesla Model 3 cars, a Hertz spokesperson confirmed to Car and Driver, although the company expects to add "a variety of makes and models" as part of a strategy to dominate the EV-rental marketplace. When asked about rental cost for these newly acquired Teslas, the spokesperson told C/D that they will go for "a rate similar to our premium and luxury vehicles," explaining that there will be a "differentiated and premium rental experience" involved in renting a Model 3 from Hertz. The spokesperson also said customers can return the EVs not fully recharged "for now," a difference from the rules for returning gasoline-powered vehicles. The spokesperson listed what cities will get Tesla Model 3 rental cars by the end of 2021; the list can be found at the end of this article.
In a major move both for Tesla and the rental-car market, Hertz has announced it has ordered 100,000 Teslas. The rental-car company's $4.2 billion order represents the largest single EV purchase to date, as Bloomberg noted this morning. Tesla Model 3 cars will start appearing in Hertz airport and other rental locations next month, and the cars will continue to roll out across U.S. and Europe locations through the end of 2022.
Hertz also announced today that customers who rent a Model 3 before February 1, 2022, who use the Tesla charging network will get free charging privileges. The announcement did not specify whether all 100,000 cars will be Model 3s but did not mention other Tesla models.
A big part of this deal, of course, is that Hertz customers will get to use Tesla's expansive Supercharger network, and Hertz also said it will install "thousands" of chargers across the U.S. and Europe. The Hertz plan is to set up Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations in 65 cities by the end of 2022 and more than 100 by the end of 2023, although the rental company alluded to "semiconductor chip shortages or other constraints" as one reason that ambition could be delayed.
Hertz is also promising faster booking through an EV-specific function on the Hertz app.
The rental-car company first offered EVs in 2011 and started offering the Tesla Model S at airports in California in 2013, but as recently as 2017 Hertz and Enterprise both told Car and Driver that they were cutting their EV fleets because of low demand. One obvious difference between 2017 and today is that the growth of Tesla's Supercharger network makes an EV rental a much more practical proposition.
Tesla provided C/D with this list of cities that will get rental Tesla Model 3s by the end of 2021: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fresno, Ft Myers, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Maui, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington, D.C.