The U.S. rental-car giant Hertz has made a strategic partnership with Sweden’s Polestar for the purchase of up to 65,000 Polestar EVs over five years, the companies jointly disclosed on Monday.
Availability of the Chinese-produced Polestar 2 at Hertz is set to start this spring in Europe and late 2022 for North America and Australia.
Hertz says that in addition to making the new EVs available to traditional business and leisure renters, it will be extending them to ride-hailing drivers.
Polestar reports that it nearly tripled its sales volume in 2021, and it aims to more than double that new volume this year—on the way to 290,000 vehicles sold on an annual basis by the end of 2025. It’s expected to soon close its SPAC business combination.
Tesla at Hertz
Polestar isn’t the only brand of EV Hertz aims to stock up on. Tesla Model 3 sedans have started to be more widely available for rental in the Hertz fleet, and it builds on an announcement last October to add 100,000 Tesla vehicles to its fleets in North America and Europe by the end of 2022. That will push EVs to around 20% of its global fleet, sweetened by a deal offering the Model 3 to Uber drivers in some major U.S. cities starting at $299 a week, all-inclusive.
Hertz then called the Tesla plan “an initial order” and hinted that it might even scale up beyond that. Last month Hertz also added the Model Y crossover to its electric vehicle fleet—although this time without a big announcement about intended volume.
Teaser for Polestar 3 debuting in 2022
The Polestar 3, a “premium electric performance SUV,” will be added to the Polestar lineup late in 2022. Although the Hertz/Polestar announcement made no mention of this model, it’s likely to feature in the partnership.
At that time of the Model 3 announcement, Hertz credited the size and convenience of Tesla’s baked-in Supercharger network—which Tesla is planning to triple the size of in two years—as an influence in its decision. For now, Hertz simply passes along any expenses of charging on the Supercharger network to renters without an additional service charge. We’ll follow closely how it fosters charging of Polestars on a more tangled maze of other, independent charging networks.