Deal builds on Hertz’s initiative to invest in electric-vehicle rental fleet.
By guest author Nora Naughton from the Wall Street Journal
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. HTZZ said Wednesday it is linking up with Uber Technologies Inc. UBER to make 50000 Teslas available in Uber’s ride-sharing network by 2023, the latest in the rental-car company’s efforts to build momentum postbankruptcy.
The deal comes days after Hertz, which collapsed into bankruptcy at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, said it is making a significant investment in an EV rental fleet, including an initial order of 100000 Teslas by the end of 2022 and new EV-charging infrastructure across the globe. The company exited Chapter 11 in June and has a stock listing planned for this year.
The Teslas that Hertz plans to add to the Uber network will come from the initial 100000 vehicle order and future orders as the program grows.
The latest deals are part of a broader strategy by the postbankruptcy Hertz to modernize its operations and fleets, leveraging new tech to improve logistics and give customers more options, particularly on plug-in electric models, said Mark Fields, Hertz’s interim chief executive.
“One of the biggest benefits of a restructuring like ours is it gives us a fresh perspective,” Mr. Fields said in an interview. “It allows us to take the approach of instead of saying ‘why?‘ why not?’”
The rental-car provider plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq in the fourth quarter of this year, under its previous ticker symbol, HTZ. The listing would mark a comeback for Hertz, whose bookings collapsed as Covid-19 rapidly spread in the U.S. in the spring of 2020. At the time, the 103-year-old company was laden with debt after years of aggressive borrowing, leading it to file for bankruptcy in May that year.