Finding an affordable new electric vehicle may become more difficult soon, with the announcement that Hertz plans to order up to 175,000 EVs from GM over the next five years.
The first are two of the least expensive EVs, the Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV, which is the new acronym for electric utility vehicle. They are due to be delivered to Hertz early in 2023.
Hertz also be getting electric Buick, GMC, Cadillac models, and BrightDrop EV delivery van.
That’s an array of choices across multiple vehicle categories, including compact, pickups and luxury, similar to the gas-powered models the rental car company now offers.
Hertz is investing to create the largest rental fleet of EVs in North America, with tens of thousands of EVs available for rent at 500 Hertz locations across 38 states.
The goal is for one-quarter of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024.
Hertz estimates customers could travel more than 8 Billion miles in these EVs, which would save approximately 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by similar gasoline-powered vehicles traveling such a distance.
GM deliveries to Hertz are projected to increase as GM scales up its EV production, aided by the opening of Ultium Cells battery cell plants in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.
Those batteries are designed to power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles for GM brands Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and joint-ventures Baojun and Wuling brands, Along with the BrightDrop, a GM subsidiary.
GM plans annual production capacity of one million EVs in North America by 2025, so the 175,000 EVs Hertz is ordering is nearly 20% by my math.
The Bolt has an estimated 259 mile driving range. The EUV has an estimated 247 mile range. Both recharge fully in 7 hours on 240v.
Standard safety features on both models include:
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- Lane Keep assist with Lane Departure Warning
- Following Distance Indicator
- Forward Collision Alert
- IntelliBeam LED headlamps.
The Bolt EV is the least expensive electric vehicle in the USA. GM actually lowered the 2022 price for 2023 models.
According to insideevs.com, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV starts at $26,595, while the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV starts at $28,195 (both prices includes Dealer Freight Charges of $995).
That’s a big reduction of $5,900 in the case of the Bolt EV and $6,300 in the case of the Bolt EUV.
Note that Chevrolet EVs are not eligible for $7,500 federal tax credit, but even with out it, they are still priced well below other small EVs.
But none of that matters if you are renting one from Hertz.
Hertz Renters Beware –
Hertz is now charging a substantial cancellation fee for rentals, even if you reserve and cancel as much 90 days ahead of your reservation.
That cancellation fee can be as much as $200 – and the full fee if you don’t show at all. So shop around, and read the rules online carefully.
I was charged a $50 cancellation fee last spring, even though I cancelled more than two weeks ahead and even though the website says no fee for members of the Hertz loyalty club, which I have been for 30-something years.
It was a two-month battle to get the unadvertised fee refunded – thank you very much, American Express.
Executive statements by Hertz and GM:
“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 CEO. “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.”
“Our work with Hertz is a huge step forward for emissions reduction and EV adoption that will help create thousands of new EV customers for GM,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “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.”
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and guidebook and smartphone app author – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
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