Hertz announces ‘strategic decision’ to slash EV fleet

Hertz announced on Thursday in a regulatory filing with the SEC that it has made a “strategic decision” to slash its electric vehicle fleet by 20,000 vehicles.

In the filing, Hertz said the figure is roughly one-third of its global EV fleet. “These vehicle dispositions, which were initiated in December 2023 and are expected to take place in an orderly fashion over the course of 2024, will cover multiple makes and models,” the company said in the filing.

The EVs that Hertz has put up for sale will “remain eligible for rental” until they ultimately sell. Hertz said that a portion of the proceeds from the sale will go into the purchase of combustion engine vehicles, which are being utilized at a higher demand.

Hertz has health with a major decrease in the value of its EV fleet, it said. During the fourth quarter of 2023, Hertz felt “approximately $245 million of incremental net depreciation expense related to the sale.”

Bloomberg first reported the filing.

It also said that it expects the sale to better balance the supply against the expected demand for EVs, which was lower than expected.

The filing sheds light on why a fleet of Tesla vehicles have already been listed for sale in a program that Hertz is calling “Rent2Buy.” Some of the vehicles were listed on Hertz’s website for as little as $17,700 before tax credits could be applied.

Hertz now selling former Tesla rentals at bargain prices

Currently, the maximum tax credit on a used EV is $4,000, so these Tesla Model 3 units that Hertz is selling could fall under $14,000.

Hertz was transparent in its filing that it believed a transition back to gas-powered vehicles would help the company’s financials.

It said:

“It is expected that the planned reduction in the EV fleet and reinvestment in additional ICE vehicles will improve Adjusted Corporate EBITDA across 2024, as vehicles are rotated, and in 2025, by which time all of the vehicles included in this plan are expected to be sold.”

Hertz inked a $4.2 billion strategy to buy 100,000 EVs from Tesla in October 2021. There was no specific deal placed between the two companies, and CEO Elon Musk said that the Model 3s that Hertz purchased were bought at full price.

Hertz then expanded its EV offerings, offering the Model Y and cars from other manufacturers, like Polestar.

Hertz said during its Q3 Earnings Report that it was still learning the ropes of EV ownership, and that price cuts Tesla made on its lineup had hindered its financials as it missed profit estimates.

Hertz announces ‘strategic decision’ to slash EV fleet


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