Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas, Will Set Up Electric Vehicle Charging Network

Car rental company Hertz is ordering 100,000 of Tesla's electric vehicles by the end of 2022, the Associated Press reported. The company also said it would set up its own electric vehicle charging network amid plans to increase the availability of electric vehicles among its rental fleet.

The ambitious purchasing goal targets the Tesla Model 3, a midsize, newer model from the company co-founded by Elon Musk. Hertz did not say what it would pay for the large stock of vehicles, but given the base price of roughly $40,000 for each Model 3, the rental company will likely spend around $4 billion, the AP reported.

Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields told the AP in an interview that Teslas are already arriving at Hertz lots and that customers should be able to start renting the vehicles beginning in November. As for the planned charging network, Hertz is looking to install 3,000 chargers in 65 locations throughout the country by the end of 2022, Fields said. The company is aiming for another 4,000 by the end of 2023.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Hertz Ordering Electric Vehicles
Car rental company Hertz is ordering 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla. Steven Senne/AP Photo

Fields wouldn't say how much Hertz is spending but said it has the capital and a healthy balance sheet after emerging from bankruptcy protection in June.

He wouldn't say how much the company is spending on the deal or whether it got a bulk-buying discount from Tesla. But he said the Estero, Florida, company intends to lead as a mobility company with the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America.

Fields says EVs are now mainstream vehicles, and the company is starting to see rising global demand and interest.

Surveys show that during the past five years, consumers have progressed toward being interested in driving and buying electric vehicles, Fields said. "More are willing to try and buy," he said. "It's pretty stunning."

He said the rental car company also is talking to other automakers about buying more electric vehicles as more models enter the marketplace.

Hertz emerged from bankruptcy protection in June and in October named Fields, a former Ford Motor Co. CEO, as interim chief executive.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020. It was among the first major corporations to be felled by the coronavirus pandemic last year as infections surged and shut down travel on a global scale for both companies and vacationers.

Shares of Tesla rose 4.3 percent to $949.26 in trading before Monday's opening bell. That price would be a record high if it holds during daily trading.

Tesla Model 3
A customer looks at a Tesla Model 3 in a Tesla showroom in Beijing on October 21, 2020. Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images