Companies teaming up for 65,000 rental EVs
Rental car provider Hertz and Polestar, the Swedish EV maker, announced a new partnership that includes purchasing up to 65,000 electric vehicles (EVs) over five years, according to an April 4 press release. Availability is expected to begin in Spring 2022 in Europe and late 2022 in North America and Australia.
A Polestar electric vehicle parked outside of a Hertz rental location.—Polestar photo
For Hertz, based out of Estero, Florida, 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.
The rental car giant already ordered a bunch of Teslas last fall. (We'd also be remiss not to note the investigation being launched against Hertz related to its business practices.)
"We are excited to partner with Polestar and look forward to introducing their premium EV products into our retail and rideshare fleets," said Stephen Scherr, Hertz CEO. "Today's partnership with Polestar further builds on our ambition to become a leading participant in the modern mobility ecosystem and doing so as an environmentally-forward company. By working with EV industry leaders like Polestar, we can help accelerate the adoption of electrification while providing renters, corporate customers and rideshare partners a premium EV product, exceptional experience and lower carbon footprint."
Polestar is one of the drivers of global EV growth, helping to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility as consumer interest in the environmental and convenience benefits of electrification increases. Polestar reported that it nearly tripled volumes in 2021 and anticipates more than doubling volumes again this year. Polestar expects volumes to reach 290,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2025.
Polestar's latest major move was the company going public via SPAC in September 2021. Having attracted Hollywood investments from Leonardo DiCaprio to Sylvester Stallone, it is being referred to as a "concept", not just an electric vehicle. Spun out of Volvo and Chinese automaker Geely, the company is marketing EV utopia as it releases the Polestar 2 model this year and gets listed on the Nasdaq.
Smoke and mirrors? Or the absence of smoke and the presence of drone-controlled rearview mirrors? Companies like Nikola and Lordstown have experienced difficulty emerging into the EV market after going public, but with the aforementioned big-name backing, Polestar predicts a meteoric rise.
"Polestar is committed to accelerating the move to electric mobility with a fascinating and innovative product portfolio," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "We are delighted that Hertz has chosen Polestar as a strategic partner on their road to electrification. The partnership with a global pioneer like Hertz will bring the amazing experience of driving an electric car to a wider audience, satisfying a broad variety of our mutual customers' short- and longer-term mobility requirements. For many of them it may be the first time they have driven an EV, and it will be a Polestar."
Hertz will initially order Polestar 2, an award-winning EV which established Polestar's position as a premium EV manufacturer with its first volume model. Polestar 2 brings avant-garde Scandinavian design and leading in-car technology. Polestar 2 includes the world's first infotainment system powered by Android Automotive OS with Google built-in for the premium EV segment, in a driver-oriented, dynamic driving package. We suggest reading WIRED Magazine's official review of the new ride.