This parking lot location is the Hertz rental car location outside of Los Angeles International Airport as the rental car giant readies their recently delivered fleet of Polestar electric vehicles.
It is only a matter of time before electrified vehicles take over this country’s corporate and municipal fleets. At that point the age of the internal combustion vehicle will be over. There has been a lot of coverage of the fuel savings with electric vehicles, but fleet are now starting to realize that maintenance savings is just as significant as fuel savings.
Hertz Electric Vehicle Orders
Last year Hertz, in an ongoing push to convert its fleet to electric vehicles, announced a partnership with Polestar to take delivery on 65,000 EVs. The rental car company has also ordered 100,000 EVs from Tesla and 175,000 from General Motors.
At the time of the partnership last year, the company announced in a press release:
For Hertz, the partnership is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to lead in electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience. The partnership with Polestar builds on Hertz’s announcement last October to offer its customers the largest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the largest in the world. In addition to making the fleet available to its business and leisure customers, Hertz is extending EVs to rideshare drivers as a way to further accelerate electrification.
EV Utilization At Rental Car Companies
How is electrification working out for Hertz? Very well.
Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr told Yahoo Finance Live that “demand has been very, very solid” for EVs, which currently make up about 5 percent of the company’s fleet.
“We’re seeing demand not just among leisure travelers but also among corporate travelers, where in fact corporations want their employees in an electric vehicle to satisfy some of their own carbon footprint objectives.”
Scherr added that Hertz has also been renting to Uber and Lyft as part of their ridesharing network, noting that “demand across all three has been very strong.”
Hertz has since spread the adoption of electric vehicles to Denver whie also striking a deal with oil giant BP to invest $1 billion to build out a network of EV charging stations in the United States powered by BP Pulse, the oil company’s global electrification and charging solution brand.
EV Challenges For Rental Car Companies
There are many challenges to converting rental car company fleets to electric vehicles.
In the United States many customers prefer SUV and pickup models and those models have yet to be electrified so there are not many options for consumers.
Power is an issues as outlined in a Reuters article:
Electrifying just a quarter of Enterprise’s fleet at Orlando airport – its largest consumer rental location – would require the same amount of daily electricity as is needed to power more than 1,000 homes, said Enterprise’s assistant vice president of innovation, Chris Haffenreffer.
Haffenreffer said the group currently had several thousand EVs in North America, including from Tesla, Nissan , Hyundai, Kia and Polestar. While the company said it has conversations with all global automakers, it has no immediate plans to boost that share.
The rental car industry as a whole has not been known for innovation or risk taking. In fact, the industry is more known for being very deliberate preferring to take a “wait and see” approach. Electric vehicle adoption is no different.
Public charging infrastructure is woefully lacking and for some consumers a family vacation is just not the time to test trying an electric vehicle. That being said there is always a positive to every negative and one of the best parts about rental car companies offering EVs is the fact that these will basically become millions of EV test drives.