Hertz on Thursday announced that it’s selling about 20,000 EVs, including some Teslas, from its U.S. rental fleet to buy gasoline cars.
The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the sales of these vehicles, which represent about one-third of its global EV fleet, began in Dec. 2023 and are expected to continue throughout 2024. EVs held for sale will remain eligible for rental during the sale process, the company noted.
Polestar at Hertz
Hertz mentioned high collision and damage expenses eroding the profitability of its EV fleet. A 2023 auto damage study from Mitchell International, a company that provides tech for the auto insurance and collision repair industries, found that collision repair is much more expensive for EVs.
The company may need to do some fine-tuning on where EVs are available to renters. Widespread accounts on social media also suggest that people who wanted to rent EVs weren’t always able to get them, while on the other hand the company was surprising those who rented gas models with EVs—sometimes to disastrous results because of a lack of understanding of charging.
Hertz and BP Pulse partner for EVs and charging
Hertz’s plan has been ramping up for a couple years. It originally announced plans in Oct. 2021 to add 100,000 Tesla Model 3s, then added EVs from General Motors and Polestar, including plans to buy up to 175,000 GM EVs through 2027. It also rolled out EV rentals and charging in some unlikely places—such as Houston, America’s Big Oil nerve center.
But in late 2023, Hertz’s CEO had indicated that the company was slowing its EV plans—but that hadn’t yet included actually getting rid of the ones it already had. At that time, the Hertz CEO pointed to the Tesla price cuts from earlier in the year as amplifying the collision write-offs the company was having to make.