By next year, Hertz's customers may have a tougher time choosing an electric vehicle to rent.
That's because there'll be more choices, including pickups and SUVs.
On Tuesday, the Estero-based rental car giant announced plans to order up to 175,000 electric vehicles from General Motors over the next five years.
The agreement struck with GM will allow Hertz to offer electric vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop across multiple classes and price points.
In case you missed it: After another strong quarter, Hertz looks to expand its electric car line-up
BrightDrop — GM's new logistics-focused unit — delivered its first electric vans to FedEx at the end of last year.
Deliveries of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023. They'll be available at 500 Hertz locations in 38 states, where other EVs can currently be rented.
"Top priority markets initially will be LA, Orlando and Miami," said Jonathan Stern, Hertz's senior director for external communications, in an email.
Eventually, the cars would make it to Southwest Florida.
Hertz described the agreement with GM as the "largest expansion of EVs among fleet customers" — and the broadest, ranging from compact to luxury models.
Over the next five years, Hertz estimates its customers could travel more than 8 million miles in GM's EVs, saving about 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide that would have been emitted by their similar gas-powered counterparts.
"It's exciting that two iconic American companies that have shaped the evolution of transportation for more than a century are coming together to redefine the future of mobility in the 21st Century," said Stephen Scherr, Hertz's CEO, in a company statement. "We are thrilled to partner with GM on this initiative, which will dramatically expand our EV offering to Hertz customers, including leisure and business travelers, rideshare drivers and corporates."
GM's chairwoman and CEO Mary Barra described the deal as a "huge step forward for emission reduction and EV adoption" in a company statement.
For GM, the deal is expected to generate thousands of new EV customers.
"With the vehicle choice, technology and driving range we're delivering, I'm confident that each rental experience will further increase purchase consideration for our products and drive growth for our company," Barra said in a statement.
In an interview about the deal on CNBC, she said once a driver experiences an EV they are twice as likely to purchase one. She described the agreement with Hertz as a "very important" step in reaching her company's goal of building 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2025 — and ultimately unseating Tesla in EV sales.
As for Hertz, Scherr told CNBC the agreement with GM reflects the strong demand for EVs that the company continues to see from its rental customers across the board. He emphasized the more environmentally-friendly choice is not an afterthought.
"Our customers are making an affirmative statement upfront," he said. "That they want to drive an electric vehicle."
Hertz's mission is to create the largest rental fleet of EVs in North America. It currently offers Teslas and Polestars.
The company's immediate goal is for electric vehicles to make up one-quarter of its fleet by the end of 2024. Now, they're only about 5% of the total, Stern said.
Hertz's effort to electrify its fleet began last year, with an order of 100,000 Teslas.
In 2021, the company reported having about 500,000 vehicles in its global fleet.
In addition to its namesake brand, Hertz operates the Dollar and Thrifty car rental services.
In May 2013, the company announced the relocation of its global headquarters from New Jersey to Estero, following the acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
The new multimillion-dollar headquarters opened in 2015.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Estero-based Hertz to expand its EV lineup with GM cars, trucks, SUVs