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Hertz expands EV program with agreement to buy 65,000 vehicles from Polestar

The Estero-based rental car giant partners with second manufacturer as it grows its electric vehicle program

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 12:10 p.m. April 4, 2022
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the face of The Hertz Co.'s electric vehicle push, which has grown with the Polestar partnership. (Courtesy photo)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the face of The Hertz Co.'s electric vehicle push, which has grown with the Polestar partnership. (Courtesy photo)
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The Hertz Corp. is expanding its electric vehicle push by buying an additional 65,000 cars, this time from Swedish manufacturer Polestar.

The vehicles, the Polestar 2 model, will be purchased over the next five years and will first hit the Lee County rental car company’s fleet this spring in Europe and then in the U.S. and Australia later this year.

A spokesperson for Hertz says additional terms of the deal won't be disclosed.

Stephen Scherr, Hertz’s recently hired CEO, says in a statement announcing the agreement that the deal “builds on our ambition to become a leading participant in the modern mobility ecosystem and doing so as an environmentally forward company.”

“By working with EV industry leaders like Polestar, we can help accelerate the adoption of electrification while providing renters, corporate customers and ride-share partners a premium EV product, exceptional experience and lower carbon footprint.”

Polestar, while not as well known as its rival Tesla, was founded in 2017 by Volvo Cars and Zhejiang Geely Holding. It sold 10,000 vehicles in 2020 and expects to sell 290,000 vehicles per year by 2025.

Electric vehicles have grown over the years, expanding from sci-fi trope to oddity to mass market acceptance. According to a September report from the International Council on Clean Transportation, about 3.1 million new plug-in electric vehicles were sold worldwide in 2020, up from 2.2 million in 2019. Of those, about 315,000 were sold in the U.S.

All told, electric vehicles made up 2.4% of 2020 new vehicle sales in the U.S. according to the report. Worldwide, about 4.2% of light-duty vehicle sales were electric vehicles.

Hertz first announced its entry into the electric vehicle market in October when it made public that it would buy 100,000 Teslas and install EV charging stations across its operations worldwide by the end of 2022.

The goal was for 20% of its fleet to eventually be made up of electronic vehicles and for a combination of Level2 and DC fast charging stations to be in place in about 65 markets by the end of 2022 and more than 100 markets by the end of 2023. It later announced that it would make 50,000 electric vehicles available to Uber drivers by the end of 2023.

And in February, Hertz announced it was investing $19 million in UFODrive, a self-service electric vehicle rental company and eMobility service provider in Europe.

As for how many electric vehicles the company currently has in its fleet, the company spokesperson says, "we haven't provided a detail update but can share that we are actively taking deliveries and integrating into our retail and ride-share fleets."


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