Hertz Global has announced that it will buy up to 65,000 Polestar electric vehicles for its fleet of rental cars. These aren’t the first electric cars available from Hertz, but will represent a significant increase. Will car renters be willing to rent a vehicle with fewer opportunities to top up? The Wall Street Journal’s Nora Eckert reports:
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. agreed to purchase up to 65,000 electric vehicles over five years from the Swedish auto maker Polestar, part of the rental-car company’s goal of expanding its plug-in offerings.
The rental-car industry, long a big bulk purchaser of new models in the car business, is increasing efforts to add more battery-powered vehicles to fleets.
The addition of EVs enables rental-car companies to show their embrace of greener technologies and cut their greenhouse-gas emissions, but it comes with challenges. Electric vehicles are typically more expensive, creating higher upfront costs for rental-car companies and potentially raising prices for renters. Additionally, a dearth of public charging networks could prove difficult for leisure travelers and hurt the customers’ experience.
Hertz expects Polestar vehicles to be available beginning this spring in Europe and later this year in North America and Australia. Hertz will initially order the Polestar 2, the EV maker’s main production model, which is marketed as a competitor to Tesla Inc.’s Model 3.
Stephen Scherr, Hertz’s chief executive, said higher gas prices are pushing some rental customers into electric models. He added that nearly half of the EVs offered in Hertz’s lineup have enough battery range that drivers don’t need to charge them during their reservation.
Read more here.