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Major Car Rental Company To Sell 20,000 Electric Vehicles For Gas-Powered Cars Despite White House Praise


Hertz, one of the four largest car rental companies in the world, announced Thursday it would sell 20,000 electric vehicles from its fleet and will opt for gas-powered cars.

The car rental giant cited higher repair costs related to collision and damage.

“While direct operating expenses per transaction day, excluding collision and damage, will be flat for the quarter and down for the year, expenses related to collision and damage, primarily associated with EVs, remained high in the quarter, thereby supporting the Company’s decision to initiate the material reduction in the EV fleet,” the company said in a filing.

“The company plans to sell 20,000 cars, or about one-third of its electric fleet, which includes Teslas, Chevrolet Bolts, Volvos, and more,” Business Insider reports.

“Hertz just announced that it’s selling 1/3 of its electric vehicle fleet due to the fact that consumers don’t like EV cars and the resale value is low. Maybe Government shouldn’t be forcing people to make one particular choice. Maybe you can’t foresee all the consequences,” Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollack said.

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Per Business Insider:

Hertz said the reduction would help its earnings for 2024, but shares nosedived by as much as 6% in premarket trading Thursday following the announcement.

The car rental giant made a splash with its EV announcement in 2021, with grand plans to help EVs go mainstream. “It’s a combination of data and also mindset,” CEO Mark Fields said at the time.

But the auto market has changed dramatically in the years since, as a pool of EV early adopters dries up, leaving consumers (hit hard by skyrocketing interest rates) stuck with just a few expensive models to choose from and virtually no used market as an alternative.

Even at Hertz, the integration of EVs appeared to be rocky at times. In October, Hertz was already warning of higher repair costs.

Prior to the announcement, the White House praised Hertz for its commitment to transition its fleet to rely more on electric vehicles.

FOX Business reports:

For example, in March 2023, the White House highlighted Hertz’s efforts and said the company was playing a role in “accelerating the EV transition.” The fact sheet stated that Hertz, in addition to other private sector and public sector entities, would help ensure President Biden’s goal of having 50% of total vehicle sales be electric by 2030.

“This morning, [Hertz] was recognized by The White House for our efforts to expand access to electric vehicles across the country,” Hertz said on X after the White House announcement. “Demand for EV rentals is growing and we’re here to help our customers electrify their travels.”

And last month, the White House said Hertz would help to guarantee federal employees were able to rent EVs when traveling. The White House guidance released at the time requires federal government employees to prioritize using EVs, trains and public transportation options when conducting official business.

The White House said Hertz had committed to “substantially increase its EV rentals” to corporate travelers in North America in 2024, forecasting an eight-fold increase in those rentals compared to 2022. That commitment, according to the announcement, would help avoid an estimated 17,800 metric tons of carbon emissions.

“Throughout our 105-year history, Hertz has moved people and things,” Hertz states on its website. “Now, within a changing mobility landscape, we are building a more diversified fleet for our customers, including electric vehicles. EVs offer our customers a premium driving experience, attractive economics in the form of lower energy prices and the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions.”



 

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