Thousands of rentable Polestar EVs to land on Hertz lots

Hertz has agreed to buy up to 65,000 Polestar electric vehicles over five years, a deal that will help the rental giant electrify its fleet and give the EV automaker access to a wider market, including corporate customers and ride-hailing drivers.

Hertz, which went through a reorganization after filing for bankruptcy protection in May 2020, is aiming to offer more EVs in its global rental fleet for consumers as well as corporate fleets and to ride-hailing drivers.

Hertz’s EV goals kicked off in October when it announced plans to buy 100,000 Tesla vehicles for a reported $4.2 billion. Hertz also announced plans to install thousands of chargers throughout its network to support the increase in EVs. Shortly after the announcement, Uber said it would rent up to half of that order for its drivers.

Hertz wouldn’t share how many Tesla vehicles are now in its fleet. A Hertz spokesperson said the company is “actively taking deliveries and integrating into our retail and rideshare fleets.”

The agreement with Polestar shows the rental giant’s intent to add some EV diversity in its fleet — at least at the higher price point. Both Tesla and Polestar are considered premium automakers with vehicles priced above $40,000.

Hertz will initially buy the Polestar 2 EV. The companies didn’t say if the Polestar 3, an all-electric SUV to be assembled at a plant shared with Volvo Cars at a factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina, will also join the Hertz fleet. Production of Polestar 3 is expected to begin globally in 2022.

Hertz said Polestar vehicles will first show up in its European fleet this spring and in North America and Australia in late 2022.

Polestar, the EV automaker that spun out of Geely Holdings-owned Volvo Cars, launched with a limited production run of a hybrid grand tourer Polestar 1. But it was the Polestar 2, a sporty sedan that comes in dual and single-motor versions, that helped the company gain followers.

Polestar intends to become a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq exchange via merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Guggenheim. The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.