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On April 4th, Hertz rental cars and Polestar luxury electric vehicles announced an agreement for up to 65,000 electric cars. The news came just months after a Hertz Tesla rental announcement that included up to 100,000 Model 3s and later Model Ys as well.

The history of the Hertz Tesla rental agreement

Two women walking by a row of Hertz rental Tesla Model 3 cars in a commercial.
Tesla Model 3 rental cars | Eric R. Davidson/Getty Images for HERTZ

The Hertz company struggled throughout the pandemic. When it changed hands, a new group of investors sought to rebrand it as an electric car rental company. To this end, Hertz signed a deal with Tesla for 100,000 Model 3s in November 2021.

According to Electrek, Tesla and Hertz disagreed on the timing of the delivery. Hertz wanted special treatment along with such a huge order. Elon Musk insisted Hertz would pay sticker price and get their Model 3 cars just as fast or slow as regular customers.

Perhaps this is why Hertz later announced they would branch out to Model Y SUVs as well. Now, it seems Hertz was shopping around, and has signed a deal with a major Tesla competitor.

Partnering with Polestar signals a new chapter for Hertz

Cellphone displaying the Hertz logo in front of a stock price graph.
Hertz logo | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Polestar is a Swedish luxury electric vehicle company jointly owned by Volvo and China’s Geely (which also owns Volvo).

The company’s first fully electric vehicle is named the Polestar 2. Ths FWD/AWD 5-door crossover was unveiled in 2019. It makes 400 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque and has a 233 mile targeted range.

Hertz is offering its Tesla Model 3 EVs to both Uber drivers and regular consumers. It announced the Polestar 2 would be joining both its retail and rideshare fleets as well:

“We are excited to partner with Polestar and look forward to introducing their premium EV products into our retail and rideshare fleets…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.”

Stephen Scherr, Hertz CEO

Polestar is excited to introduce EVs to a wide audience

White Polestar 2 electric vehicle parked in front of a tan Hertz building.
Hertz rental Polestar 2 | Polestar

Many automobile manufacturers are wary of selling cars to rideshare fleets. The industry seems to suspect that if people can borrow an exciting new vehicle whenever they want, they won’t buy it outright.

But electric vehicle manufacturers such as Polestar and Tesla must convince drivers to convert to EVs before they can increase sales. Electric rental cars might be a great way to allow drivers to try out EVs, helping them make the difficult decision to convert. Polestar certainly believes this:

“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.”

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO

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