Hertz reportedly orders 100,000 Teslas in the single largest EV purchase ever

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Tesla has just had a double-shot of good news on the sales front today. Hertz has ordered 100,000 Tesla EVs for its fleet, with plans to rent them out in major US markets and parts of Europe starting in November, according to Bloomberg. That would mark the largest electric vehicle order of all time and a major move by Hertz into electric car rentals.

The order is reportedly worth $4.2 billion for the fleet (which appears to be Model 3s) according to the report. It represents about a 1/10th of what Tesla can currently produce annually, possibly allowing Hertz to lock out other rental companies. It reportedly purchased well-appointed, rather than base model versions, and paid nearly the full list price for each unit.  

Hertz customers will have access to Tesla’s supercharger network, and Hertz is supposedly also building its own charging infrastructure. Eventually, Hertz (which also owns the Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly brands) plans to go nearly fully electric with its half-million vehicle fleet. 

That’s a pretty sharp turnaround for Hertz, considering that it went bankrupt in 2020 and only emerged in June of this year. It was purchased out of bankruptcy by distressed-debt firm Knighthead Capital Management (among other firms) for $6 billion. Following a big turnaround in the market, however, it’s currently valued at $11.6 billion ahead of relisting on Nasdaq, Bloomberg reported. 

That’s just half the good news for Tesla, though. The company’s Model 3 was the best-selling car in Europe in September with around 24,600 registered units, marking the first time that an EV has topped the monthly standings, according to automotive analyst JATO. It’s also the first time a vehicle manufactured outside the EU has led in sales. Tesla’s sales were up by 58 percent over last year, and EV/PHEV sales in general rose 23 percent from 2020.

Last month, registrations accounted for 74 percent of [Tesla’s] third quarter volume. Since its’ entry to the European market, the Model Y has also performed well, securing second position in the BEV ranking.

The news is big for Tesla and the EV industry in general, showing that EV sales in Europe are continuing to grow. Much of that has been driven by generous tax rebates and trade-in incentives on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. September was a particularly good month for Tesla, accounting for 74 percent of its third quarter volume, according to JATO

Still, the automotive sector as a whole has plummeted in Europe and elsewhere because of a global chip shortage. Renault recently said that it would produce at least 300,000 fewer vehicles this year due to the global semiconductor shortage, according to Reuters. “This year, the industry has responded well to the the pandemic, but it is now facing new supply chain challenges,” said JATO analyst Felipe Munoz. “The growing popularity of EVs is encouraging, but sales are not yet strong enough to offset the big declines seen across other segments.”

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