- When you start buying tens of thousands of electric vehicles, you may have more than you lease.
- Hertz is doing what it can to encourage its renters to request one of the many EVs in its fleet, with discounted prices and free rental days through the end of summer.
- If you rent an EV for at least two days by September 6, for example, you’ll get a free rental day. Hertz is also offering a separate 30 percent discount on EV rentals until the end of August.
As part of a major investment in electric vehicles, Hertz announced earlier this year that it has more than 50,000 EVs in its fleet. That’s about 10 percent of the rental car company pool, and it’s not over yet. In fact, Hertz may have so many EVs that you can rent them without warning.
Rental companies’ transition to EVs is making itself felt in both big and small ways. The fact that Hertz has announced plans to call for over 340,000 EVs by 2027 is a big deal, including orders for 100,000 vehicles from Tesla, 65,000 from Polestar, and 175,000 from GM.
Hertz’s growing EV numbers filter down to smaller announcements like “Hertz Electrifies Orlando,” which will bring 6000 of those EVs and 50 DC fast charging stations to the Florida city. The company’s latest press release is full of similar announcements for places including Houston, Denver, and Atlanta. Recent Hertz commercials have featured football star and EV driver Tom Brady and comedian Yvonne Orji talking about EV rentals.
Surprise EV Rental
Hertz’s solid EV progress has fans and critics. When Hertz submitted a writer for Atlantic key to the all-electric Chevy Bolt EV as a “manager’s special” without any warning—that is, the writer expects to get a gas car for their road trip, not an EV—it creates unwanted problems for someone new to EVs and unfamiliar with the charging process. When we checked the Hertz rental website, we noticed that the Manager’s Special entry now reveals that the car you get may be electric.
Hertz shows ambition in other ways when it comes to EV rentals. Some of the data from the connected EV fleet is being shared with city planners as they decide where to install charging infrastructure as part of what Hertz calls its Charging Opportunity Index. Hertz also donates EVs to high school and community college auto programs so students can get hands-on experience with EVs.
Hertz says it’s trying to give renters the tools they need to drive happily in a plug-in model. If you actually request an EV, you will get a link emailed to you for an online EV guide. Hertz is also updating key chains for its EVs to include QR codes that link to guides. Other rental car companies, including Avis and Enterprise, also have EVs available, but not as many.
Hertz certainly wants to rent out its large and growing fleet of EVs to people who know what they’re getting into. The company has various promotions going on this summer for EV drivers. If you rent an EV for at least two days by September 6, for example, you’ll get a free rental day. Hertz is also offering a separate “up to 30 percent” discount on EV rentals through the end of August. That’s the kind of surprise-free deal that can get people to the rental counter ready to drive away in an electric vehicle.
Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk and other outlets. His first green car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the importance of the new technology not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole. . Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more exciting changes happening right now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV.