Hertz Orders 100,000 Teslas

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. HTZZ 8.46% said it has ordered 100,000 Tesla Inc. TSLA 7.14% vehicles by the end of 2022, a move aimed at including more electric vehicles in its car-rental fleet.

The Estero, Fla., company said that starting in early November and expanding through the end of the year, Hertz customers will be able to rent a Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe.

Electric vehicles will comprise more than 20% of the company’s global fleet with the current order, Hertz said Monday. The rental-car company said it introduced electric vehicles into its fleet in 2011.

Tesla shares rose about 4% in premarket trading. Hertz has said it anticipates relisting on a major stock exchange by the end of the year.

Hertz said it is also installing thousands of electric-vehicle chargers in its network. Those who rent a Tesla Model 3 will have access to 3,000 Tesla supercharging stations in the U.S. and Europe, the company said.

Hertz said it expects a combination of level 2 and DC fast charging in about 65 markets by the end of 2022 and more than 100 markets by the end of 2023.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” said Mark Fields, Hertz’s interim chief executive. Mr. Fields, a former Ford Motor Co. CEO, took the role earlier this month.

Financial terms of the deal between Hertz and Tesla weren’t provided. However, it is historically common for such bulk orders to include a discount for the rental-car company.

In mid-October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk turned his first European Gigafactory near Berlin into a fairground where visitors could tour the facility. The project faced some delays and local resistance but Musk said the company expects to start production in November. Photo: Patrick Pleul/Associated Press

Hertz is making the investment after emerging from bankruptcy under new ownership. It filed for bankruptcy in May 2020 as the debt-laden company suffered from a collapse in reservations.

The expansion into electric vehicles is part of what the company defines as “the new Hertz,” which focuses on electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first experience, the company said. Hertz’s new owners seek to overhaul the century-old company, implementing new software to improve inventory management and better forecast customer demand.

Hertz warned that efforts to electrify its fleet could be hampered by factors outside its control, such as the shortage of semiconductor chips and other constraints.

The company said it has partnered with Super Bowl champion Tom Brady for a marketing campaign for the electric-vehicle rentals.

Bloomberg News reported on Hertz’s order earlier Monday.

Within the past year, Hertz’s business has bounced back as travel restrictions were lifted and more Americans got Covid-19 vaccines. At the same time, Hertz and other rental-car companies have struggled to keep up with the surge in bookings, lacking vehicles to provide customers as the broader car business confronts a shortage of new vehicles. The shortfall has pushed up rental-car prices and left renters with fewer options.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

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