- As Hertz positions itself as a partner to cities in transportation decarbonization and an entry point for drivers to try electric vehicles, EVs are now 11% to 12% of the Hertz rental fleet, CEO Stephen Scherr said on the company’s July 27 earnings call.
- Denver; Atlanta; Houston; and Orlando, Florida, are now participating in public-private partnerships with the company. The partnerships make more EVs available to rental customers and ride-sharing drivers and expand public charging infrastructure with BP pulse, among other efforts.
- “We are readying ourselves for an electric future and are pleased with our progress on this strategy,” Scherr said.
As it aims to develop the nation’s largest EV rental fleet, Hertz announced its first EV city partnership, with Denver, in September 2022 and added the three other cities this spring. Through the partnership, Uber and Lyft drivers in select cities can rent Hertz EVs to operate as ride-sharing vehicles. “We find ourselves in a really interesting opportunity, particularly as cities are requiring ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft to be 100% electric by 2030,” Scherr said on the call. “We become the viable path for that to happen.”
The company says on its website that it will share “telematic insights from its connected fleet to inform city planning for charging infrastructure” in its partner cities. The program also aims to create educational and job training opportunities in each city by donating EVs to local high school and community college auto programs and offering summer jobs to students.
Scherr said the company’s EV rental fleet largely consists of Tesla vehicles, but it is now taking delivery of General Motors EVs, part of a commitment to purchase 175,000 EVs over the next five years. Hertz held a one-day test-drive event in July at its location near Los Angeles International Airport, giving customers and ride-sharing drivers an opportunity to drive electric Tesla, Chevrolet, Polestar and Kia vehicles. Hertz said in a press release about the event that it “has tens of thousands of EVs available for rent at more than 2,000 locations across 44 states.”
Scherr said the company’s commitment to electric vehicles enables Hertz to build a “first-mover advantage in the area of EV fleet management.” In the future, he said, Hertz will be better positioned to “pursue adjacent fleet management opportunities, whether in the form of managing electric fleets for others or even adapting to the growing prospect of autonomous vehicles now in early commercial development.”