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Hertz Plans to Bulk up Rental Car Fleet With GM's Electric Vehicles

Newsweek 9/20/2022 Eileen Falkenberg-Hull
The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt delivers 200 horsepower from a single electric motor. © Chevrolet The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt delivers 200 horsepower from a single electric motor.

Hertz and General Motors (GM) have reached an agreement that spells out plans for the rental car company to order up to 175,000 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop branded electric vehicles (EVs) over the next five years.

During that timespan, General Motors is expected to add several EVs to its model lineup including the Chevrolet Equinox EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV, Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, Hummer EV SUV and Cadillac Lyriq.

Among the vehicles that Hertz intends to order are compact and midsize SUVs, pickup trucks and luxury vehicles. The first models to be delivered will be Chevrolet Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs, which will arrive in fleet in early 2023.

Hertz estimates that customers could travel more than 8 billion miles in the EVs during their in-fleet lifespan, saving approximately 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions compared to similar gasoline-powered vehicles traveling the same distance.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2020 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 13.2 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents across all sectors. This amount is a 7 percent decrease since 1990 and a 20 percent decrease wince 2005.

"It's exciting that two iconic American companies that have shaped the evolution of transportation for more than a century are coming together to redefine the future of mobility in the 21st century," said Stephen Scherr, Hertz CEO. "We are thrilled to partner with GM on this initiative, which will dramatically expand our EV offering to Hertz customers, including leisure and business travelers, rideshare drivers and corporates."

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Hertz has made multiple announcements over the last few years regarding efforts to bulk off its rental fleet after selling much of it and declaring bankruptcy as the COVID-19 pandemic set in and the rental car business faltered due to less travel.

In October 2021, the company said it ordered 100,000 Tesla Model 3s and in May 2022 Hertz formed a partnership with Shelby American to offer 900-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500-Hs for rent at select airports. Polestar has announced a strategic partnership with the company to accelerate EV adoption in the U.S.

Hertz has made public its plans for one-quarter of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024. This milestone meshes with timelines put forth by most major automakers to have more available electric vehicles for purchase as they approach 2030.

Update 09/26/2022, 11:50 a.m. ET: This article was updated to revise the claim made by Hertz that it would save approximately 3.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by adding electric vehicles to its fleet. The company has lowered its prediction to 1.8 million metric tons.

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