Car rentals join the EV revolution

By Scoop
June 22, 2022 · less than 3 min read

The race to electric has begun.   

On your marks 

The Covid-19 pandemic floored the car rental industry. Job losses, bankruptcies, the whole nine yards. But now, salvation reigns – and firms are entering a new age of competition.  

Not long ago, Hertz was staring down the barrel of its own bankruptcy. But in its reorganization efforts, the Florida-based company boldly announced a $4.2 billion deal to purchase 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of 2022. The Beatles went electric. Dylan went electric. And now, it seems, car rentals are going electric. The race is on.  

The color of money 

Going green opens a world of benefits. And after Hertz shot out of the blocks in its EV endeavors, its two biggest rivals, Enterprise Holdings and Avis Budget Group, quickly followed suit. But in a simple case of supply and demand, it’s not going to be a sprint to the finish; more of a marathon. And amid the various challenges that car rental firms will face, the biggy – according to Sharky Laguana, President of the American Car Rental Association – is “just getting your hands on the damn things.”  

Worth an eye-watering $56 billion, the US rental industry typically buys about one-tenth of auto manufacturers’ new cars every year. So when supply chains are down, you can bet they’ll be feeling the pinch. But with gas prices through the roof, and all eyes on how big-money industries are facing up to their green responsibilities, it looks like playing the long game could be the way to go.  

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