Even rental car companies are being forced to carry the electric vehicle narrative, with Hertz now committing to purchasing 175,000 EVs from General Motors over the course of five years, a new report by WSJ noted this week.
On Tuesday, the companies announced that Hertz would make the purchases across GM’s four main brands in North America, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. The first orders are set to be for Chevy Bolts, the report years, and are expected to start early next year.
Caught up in the government catalyzed, taxpayer subsidized shift to electric vehicles, several rental companies have been adding EVs to their fleets over the last few years.
Hertz is planning on having EV models available for all types of rentals, including leisure customers, business travelers, corporate fleets and ride-share drivers, the report says.
The purchase is in the “multi-billion dollar range”, according to Jeff Nieman, Hertz’s senior vice president of operations initiatives.
The timing of the purchases from rental car companies couldn’t come at a better time for automakers. These orders shore up EV demand for automakers at a time of transition, where many brands are shifting their lineups from traditional internal combustion engines to electric drivetrains. CEO Mary Barra has said that the company expects to sell 400,000 electric vehicles this year, a more than 10x rise in sales over previous years.
GM is targeting 1 million EVs sold in North America for 2025.
“It’s a try-before-you-buy sort of situation,” said Steve Carlisle, president of GM North America. He said he hopes that customers who try electric vehicles while renting them will be more inclined to buy them for themselves when car shopping.
This is hardly Hertz’s first move in expanding its fleet to include more electric vehicles. The company has already also committing to purchasing 100,000 Teslas and 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar.
Hertz has targeted 25% of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024. Companies like Avis and Enterprise are following suit, both stating that they are aiming to make electric vehicles a larger part of their respective fleets.