Hertz CEO Says 50K Teslas to Uber Can Grow To 150K
During a CNN interview with Julia Chatterley this morning, Dara Khosrowshahi, UBER CEO, was asked, among many other things, how confident he was about actually having 50 thousand drivers in the US by 2023, in order to take advantage of the deal with Hertz (the Tesla Model 3 deal), to which he basically answered "… we´re quite confident; we actually have other electric cars on the network, and consistently we see significant demand for these kinds of cars." As a reminder, half of the Hertz order for 100K Teslas are destined to Uber rentals.
He also added that "...like I always say, climate change is a team sport, and our drivers want to help, so we do think that based on the demand that we´ve seen for electric vehicles on our network -and Tesla is obviously a great brand - it´s a great product, I think if we make Teslas available, there´ll be plenty of takers."
In the same interview Mark Fields, Hertz interim CEO, commented on the subject: " … I would just say that part of our agreement is that, for this program, if successful (and we believe it will be) that over the next 3 years this could grow to 150 thousand Teslas that can be provided by Hertz to Uber as well."
"This commitment with Uber program, ... and when it´s successful, is up to 150 thousand vehicles, and clearly ought to be reflected in our future orders for Tesla, just as would, you know, orders for other OEMs that are going to be providing electric vehicles to the Market place." When asked about the FSD feature, specifically if it would be included in the program, he responded that no, it will not be there, there will be no self-driving options included for now. As for any discount Hertz might have benefited from in the deal with Tesla, Mark declined to comment or give any additional info.
The news prompted some quick reactions. Some people argued on social media that Tesla will be basically producing taxis, and that it will eventually harm the brand; to which other people answered that when Mercedes made a huge number of the taxis in Europe it did not destroy the brand; other comments were about Tesla going to use all that data to figure out how their robo-taxis should behave for picking up and dropping off passengers.
Other comments were about a situation in which "…they are leveraging themselves hugely off Tesla's reputation and status. It is a smart move for them to make and also a compliment to Tesla. But we should recognize the huge PR benefit they are getting from doing this. The momentum value to rebuilding their business is huge." There were also questions on social media asking about Hertz adding solar to their stand alone locations to offset any increases in grid usage from EV charging. These are certainly interesting topics to follow for future articles.
Another interesting question from social media came up about how Hertz plans to acquire the charging infrastructure. Will they be buying these from Tesla? That would be something we will find out very soon, as things are happening very fast; and luckily for Tesla, for the EV transition around the world and for the climate change fighters, the future is starting to look promising (at least regarding electric transportation).
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.