Hertz Says It’s Buying Up to 65,000 Polestar EVs for Its Rental Fleets
This could be a lot of people’s first run-in with the Polestar brand.
Rental car company Hertz has entered into an agreement with Polestar to buy up to 65,000 of the Swedish automaker's EVs over the next five years. Initial orders will consist exclusively of Polestar 2s since, y'know, that's the only full BEV the company makes right now. But given the timeline of this purchase order, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect future Polestars like the bigger Polestar 5 to land on Hertz lots as well. The cars will apparently start appearing in European Hertz fleets starting this spring before showing up in North American and Australian lots in "late 2022."
This latest purchase order is part of Hertz's goal to offer the biggest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the biggest EV fleets worldwide, a goal the company announced when it committed to buying as many as 100,000 Teslas—spending an alleged $4.2 billion—back in October. In addition to renting Polestars out to travelers and folks who just need a car for a few days, Hertz says it will make them available to rideshare drivers as well.
Those who follow car news will probably be very familiar with Polestar but in the grand scheme of things, the company is still a lesser-known automaker. From Polestar's point of view, getting its products into a rental fleet—where potential buyers can drive and experience the cars on their own terms and on an extended basis without a salesperson breathing down their neck—should theoretically be a decent way of both getting the word out and demystifying the EV experience to the uninitiated. Super Bowl commercials can only do so much.
All of that said, I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend renting a car from Hertz—Polestar or otherwise—any time soon given the abnormally high number of customers alleging they were falsely accused of stealing rental cars, racking up theft charges, and sometimes even getting thrown in jail. The fiasco has been going on for years now and, according to an attorney who represented multiple falsely accused renters who ended up receiving tens of thousands in civil settlements, it all has to do with a glitch in Hertz's computer system.
On second thought, maybe renting a Polestar from Hertz isn't such a bad idea after all. Get to drive a nice Swedish EV and have a nice payday. Just be sure you have a decent lawyer on speed dial.
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach him here: firstname.lastname@example.org.