The order is the largest yet from the rental car company
General Motors is teaming up with Hertz to expand the number of electric vehicles available on the rental car company’s platform. GM announced it will sell 175,000 EVs to Hertz over the next five years, a deal that the companies are calling the largest of its kind yet.
The new EVs will come from all of GM’s brands, including Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Buick, and BrightDrop, the automaker’s commercial vehicle division. The announcement follows a similar move by Hertz to purchase 100,000 vehicles from Tesla and 65,000 EVs from Polestar.
One of the major barriers to mass adoption of electric vehicles is cost. EVs are just way too expensive, with the average price hitting an all-time high earlier this summer of $66,000. That’s disappointing because the auto industry has always promised that prices would come down as EV battery packs became more efficient to manufacture. GM says that rental cars will help drive more mass adoption.
As more electric models arrive, GM is trying to position itself as the lone automaker with a particular focus on driving mass market adoption. The company has resisted the urge to raise prices on its lowest-priced EVs, the Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV, even while other EVs have become more expensive. In fact, the company has decided to keep its discounted price for the Bolts through the end of the year. Late next year, the Chevy Equinox EV will arrive with the attractive starting price of $30,000. And GM said it will have a whole slate of affordable EVs later in the decade as a result of its partnership with Honda.
Whether GM makes good on its promise will depend on a variety of external factors, some of which the company has very little control over. With persistent supply chain problems and low inventory, most automakers have little choice but to raise their EV prices. The demand for battery materials remains a major issue, as does the time, energy, and resources it takes to bring new manufacturing facilities online.