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Hertz Selling 20,000 Electric Vehicles for Gas-Powered Cars

Hertz Selling 20,000 Electric Vehicles for Gas-Powered Cars

“The elevated costs associated with EVs persisted. Efforts to wrestle it down proved to be more challenging.”


Because of low demand and high repair costs, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. will sell 20,000 electric vehicles (EV), one-third of its EV fleet.

Everyone laugh: LOLOLOLOL!

In 2021, Hertz announced it would buy 100,000 Tesla vehicles.

In February, the White House gushed over Hertz committing to EV cars: “Hertz’s objective is to make one-quarter of its fleet electric by the end of 2024.”

Hertz and BP wanted to build a bunch of charging stations in major cities:

The charging hubs will serve rideshare and taxi drivers, car rental customers and the general public at high-demand locations, such as airports. A number of installations are expected to include large-scale charging hubs, known as “gigahubs.” bp aims to invest $1 billion in EV charging in the US by 2030.

One year later…nope.

Hertz and everyone else had to know this would not work. You mean you couldn’t tell no one wanted to rent EVs?

Go woke, and you waste a ton of money:

Hertz will record a non-cash charge in its fourth-quarter results of about $245 million related to incremental net depreciation expense.

The dramatic about-face, after Hertz announced plans in 2021 to buy 100,000 Tesla Inc. vehicles, underscores the waning demand for all-electric cars in the US. EV sales growth slowed sharply over the course of 2023, rising just 1.3% in the final quarter as consumers were put off by high costs and interest rates.

“The elevated costs associated with EVs persisted,” Hertz Chief Executive Officer Stephen Scherr said in an interview. “Efforts to wrestle it down proved to be more challenging.”

Playing ignorant only makes you look worse, dude. Everyone knows the cost of the cars and maintaining them.

The best part? Hertz wants to use the money it gets from selling the EVs to buy gasoline vehicles!

Crying: “The company expects this action to better balance supply against expected demand of EVs.”


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Conventional wisdom has it that a used car from Hertz was a better deal (given the professional maintenance exercised by its original owner) than almost any other source. However, to channel Ralph Nader, these cars are uneconomical at any price.

Similarly, when I learned that thousands of newbies were buying RVs during COVID so as to be able to take vacations without violating all the silly cross-contamination edicts, I counseled friends and family who were in the market for RVs to wait until the newbies discovered that RVing demands learning, effort, and physical work, and they put their rigs back on the market at roughly the same time, creating a buyer’s market. But when I discovered that manufacturers had ramped up production so insanely to meet the original market that they cut four times as many corners as they usually do, I realized that buying those particular units secondhand might be a huge regret after all.

    I’ve always heard the opposite…namely never buy a rental fleet car due to the fact that renters will rag out a rented vehicle in ways they’d never dream of doing to a vehicle they own.

    I also wonder about demand for a rental EV versus demand to buy one. It seems logical to me to think that any ‘EV curious ‘ person would be likely to rent one as a way of giving it a test run. They fact that there isn’t even demand for rentals really does not bode well for this top-down, economy-engineering circle jerk.

      gonzotx in reply to Paul. | January 12, 2024 at 6:37 pm

      I bought a van , 2 years old 30,000 miles from a rental, it was a great van

      murkyv in reply to Paul. | January 13, 2024 at 4:52 am

      Having rented many pieces of heavy equipment over the years for short term projects, I can attest that..

      “Nothing parties like a rental”

      You get everything out of them you can in the time you have

      Hodge in reply to Paul. | January 13, 2024 at 10:14 am

      There was a famous article in The National Lampoon magazine decades ago that that was titled something like:

      “How to drive while stoned and having your wing-wang pulled without spilling your drink”

      The article started with a question and its answer:

      The question: “What kind of car is best for this situation?”

      The answer: “A rental car.”

      Ironclaw in reply to Paul. | January 13, 2024 at 12:59 pm

      It’s like shopping for anything, you have to be careful and use your brain. You have to inspect it. I’ve bought rental car units and I literally pulled the spark plugs to look inside the cylinders for wear. Check the suspension system, look underneath for, look underneath for evidence that it was bottomed out. You can get a good deal if you’re careful

    JohnSmith100 in reply to henrybowman. | January 12, 2024 at 6:51 pm

    This summer I bought a top of the line Fleetwood 40′ 5th to live in while I am building in another state. It was in mint condition, 4 slides, bought it for $12.5 K,’. That model was selling for $30-$40 K during Wuhan 19 crud. People took out huge loans and are losing their shirts now.

    I saw a young couple, I think from Spain, rent one in Newark to drive to Niagra Falls on their honeymoon. It was not even a “good” ev like a Tesla, just some crappy Chevy Volt thing. The counterperson tried to talk them out of of it, but as the guy ahead of me commented quietly–some people can’t be helped.

    There is nothing more romantic than being stuck in upstate NY with a bricked EV.

    I suspect the wife took it out on her new husband when they got stuck somewhere between Ithaca and Buffalo.

      henrybowman in reply to EBL. | January 13, 2024 at 2:00 pm

      I could almost understand this if they weren’t already married:
      “Oh, dear, sweetheart, it looks like we’ve run out of Gaia in this lonely spot!
      Whatever shall we do!”

Yet they are running ads on Youtube promoting these same vehicles

The operator of a EV needs to be hyper-aware of its charging capabilities: how long it takes to charge, where you can charge, how long it takes to charge, how far you can drive on a full charge, miles remaining until you need to recharge, etc.. People who rent cars just want to drive them. They do not treat rental cars with the care and attentiveness that owners do. As EVs need substantially more attentiveness than gas-powered vehicles- see the above sentence- it stands to reason that they are much more appropriate for owner-operators than renter-operators.

Hertz management apparently did not consider this when purchasing so many EVs. That doesn’t say a lot for the management capabilities of Hertz management.

    At least a Tesla lets you know where charging stations are and recommends where and when you should go. But for a rental car, an EV is a poor choice. You use a rental for convience and returning them to an airport fully charged when you likely don’t have a high speed charger where you are stayng the night before makes no sense.

Never buy a rent a car.

When I was in high school, I had a job with Budget Rent a Car.

Budget was crazy to hire us.

It was fun to cause a backfire in tunnel at night because it was great to hear the car’s bang.

Also, when a station wagon had about 6 of us after dropping cars off, the driver (while going 25 or 30) put the car in reverse.

The first time, it was real fun. The car was very noisy and shaked, but eventually went in reverse.

The second time, the car made lots of noise, but the transmission was dead.

    henrybowman in reply to ParkRidgeIL. | January 13, 2024 at 2:09 pm

    I had a black-sheep cousin who did this in his first job, driving a delivery truck for a printer. It was a standard, and that was totally new to him. While tooling down the road, he put it in reverse instead of third, and snapped off the drive shaft. Showing more perspicacity than his usual, he climbed under it and managed to cobble the joint together with his belt long enough to limp it back to the shop. But one of his major character flaws was never knowing when to cut his losses. He not only cost his employer a stiff repair bill, but insisted he be reimbursed the price of his belt.

It would be interesting to see details of the Hertz EV case study. This would be based on facts and data rather than hopes and hypes.

BierceAmbrose | January 12, 2024 at 9:20 pm

So, on this “new” information our Accidental Overlords will be lifting their go electric mandates in … 3 … 2 … 1

Oh, who am I kidding. They’re ineffective and uneconomical are both features not bugs.

What a dumb business decision for a rental car company to buy a large number of EV’s.
Taking a trip in a car is the worst scenario for an EV vs. gas engine car.
So whether you rent a car for a trip or b/c you need a car at home (most of us don’t have charging stations at home, since most don’t have an EV), it seems like a dumb business decision.

Lucifer Morningstar | January 13, 2024 at 8:22 am

In February, the White House gushed over Hertz committing to EV cars: “Hertz’s objective is to make one-quarter of its fleet electric by the end of 2024.”

And a year later as Hertz dumps its EV fleet you’ll hear crickets from the White House over the failure of Hertz to “make one-quarter of it’s fleet electric by the end of 2024”. They’ll never admit that EVs are just another Solyndra fiasco in the making.

And this is why the government has to bribe people to get evs. Nobody actually wants the things, but give it enough incentives and they’ll Overlook the negatives. The few who actually wanted them, now have them or cannot afford them and never could.

E Howard Hunt | January 13, 2024 at 8:57 am

I always insist on renting an electric car when we must make one of our short visits to my mother-in-law, who is situated far from her Florida airport. The benefit is that recharging or breakdown mercifully shortens the visit.

    Joe-dallas in reply to E Howard Hunt. | January 13, 2024 at 9:16 am

    While EV’s may be great cars for certain individuals, they are a really stupid for part of a rental fleet for either business or leisure travel

    Business travel is usually on tight schedule and taking time to charge is going to be inconvenient for all involved.

    Leisure travel to that national park or scenic beach is going to be impractical. Who wants to have to spend time getting car charged while one vacation.

    Plain stupid

In December of ‘22 I flew into Mpls to visit a sick relative. My wife took care of all the logistics and I ended up with a Tesla for a rental from Hertz. Having never driven an electric vehicle before, but having driven rail dragsters, I was amazed and impressed with the acceleration of that car. Short of 7.5 second dragster in the quarter mile, I have never driven a street car that could accelerate like that.

But, because I went to mid State MN, I had to drive 70 miles to charge it. Who knew that continuously “standing on it” would drain the battery that fast?

All said and done, electric vehicles are not ready for prime time yet.

    If you have a predictable commute (so you know 95% of the time you leave and return on the same charge) and a charging station at home–great, get an EV if that suits you. A good ICE is still less expensive (even with no tax abatement, added repairs and maintenance, and gasoline) or a push (and the push is the exception not the rule).

Recent article by younger fellow discussed how after 7 years his Tesla S had lost 32 percent of it’s range. What was more amazing to me was that he said he would still purchase another one.

Oh, and a 7 year old internal combustion engine vehicle is likely to get the same miles per gallon today as it did when new.

The long-term damage to the economy demanded by the “must go all electric” crowd will just increase. Electrification of everything to save the planet is a canard for being able to completely control humanity.

Nada mas.

Capitalist-Dad | January 13, 2024 at 11:06 am

Losing millions on the sales of vehicles no one wants is the price Hertz pays for being a fascistic suck up.

The DoT should fine Hertz like a trillion dollars or something for selling these cars and giving EVs a bad name.

They’ve attempted to push these off on ridesbare drivers as well.
Uber will give you 3k in addition to any gov subsidies if you buy onr. Or you can’t rent one through Avis/Berts as a driver $300 a week +/-