As early as November, Uber drivers with 4.7 ratings or higher will be eligible to rent a Model 3 Tesla from Hertz in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington, D.C., through an expanded car rental partnership with the ride-hailing company. Hertz will power the partnership with 50,000 electric vehicles by 2023.
The news comes on the heels of Hertz’s Monday announcement that the company would purchase 100,000 Model 3 Teslas to add to its fleet through 2023. As the financially embattled car rental giant emerges from bankruptcy, the move positions Hertz as a leader in electric vehicle rental for consumers and corporate partners as it looks to rebuild its fleet after selling off cars during the pandemic.
The partnership boosts Uber as well, as consumers and corporate customers look to source more ecological transportation options. Uber now claims the largest expansion of electric vehicles on a mobility platform in North America and one of the largest globally. The deal also pushes Uber toward its zero-emissions goal.
Initially, top-rated Uber drivers will be able to access Tesla vehicles for $334 weekly, but Hertz is looking to lower that cost for drivers over time. Availability of charging stations will be key for driver uptake of the option and could dictate in what markets the program can be viable.
At launch, the Tesla option for Uber drivers and regular renters will be available only in three California markets—Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco—and Washington, D.C. To that end, Hertz will contribute to charging infrastructure by installing 3,000 charging stations across the U.S. and Europe. Hertz expects to have charging infrastructure available in 100 markets by the end of 2023.
Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields in a statement called the partnership a “major step forward in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem and executing on our commitment to being an environmentally forward company.”
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement said, “Climate change is an urgent global challenge we must all tackle together, and now is the time to drive a green recovery from the pandemic.”
Hertz and Uber have had a car rental partnership since 2016; the Tesla rollout is an investment in and expansion of that partnership.