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First Tesla, now Polestar—Hertz signs a new electric vehicle partner

By the end of the year Hertz customers will be able to rent EVs from Polestar as well as Tesla.
Enlarge / By the end of the year Hertz customers will be able to rent EVs from Polestar as well as Tesla.


Car rental company Hertz is significantly expanding its electric vehicle fleet. On Monday it announced a new partnership with Polestar, the Swedish performance EV startup. If all goes to plan, Hertz will buy 65,000 Polestar EVs over the next five years to be deployed in Europe, North America, and Australia.

This is not the first big EV buy from Hertz. After filing for bankruptcy during the first few months of the pandemic, it’s back and well-capitalized and on a mission to electrify.

In 2021, Hertz announced that Teslas would make up more than a fifth of its US rental fleet by the end of this year, in a mix of Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers.

But Hertz is evidently not limiting itself to one supplier. “We are excited to partner with Polestar and look forward to introducing their premium EV products into our retail and rideshare fleets,” said Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr. “Today’s partnership with Polestar further builds on our ambition to become a leading participant in the modern mobility ecosystem and doing so as an environmentally-forward company. By working with EV industry leaders like Polestar, we can help accelerate the adoption of electrification while providing renters, corporate customers and rideshare partners a premium EV product, exceptional experience and lower carbon footprint.”

Assuming the Hertz Polestar rentals work the same way a Hertz Tesla rental does, customers can expect some form of free DC fast charging and probably some leeway in regard to returning the car with at least 10 percent state of charge remaining. Polestar has a seamless charging partnership with ChargePoint, and owners of a new Polestar 2 have two years of unlimited 30-minute fast-charging sessions at Electrify America locations. (However, the Polestar 2 doesn’t support plug and charge yet, so renters will need to be prepared to use an app.)

Europe will be the first Hertz region to receive Polestar 2s this spring. Reservations in North America and Australia should be possible in fall 2022, according to Polestar.

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