Australian travellers will soon have more chances to drive an electric vehicle, as well as make their trips more eco-friendly, with 350 Tesla Model 3 electric cars to join can rental company Hertz’s local arm.
It will be the first all-electric vehicles on offering from the company in Australia, and of any company at this scale. The Model 3 electric cars will come out of the landmark 100,000 Tesla order that Hertz made earlier this week.
The news that the Californian carmaker had taken the order from Hertz – at full price, for a value of $US4 billion – coincided with a stock surge that saw Tesla’s value tip over the $US1 trillion mark for the first time.
But on a local note, the additional Model 3s – the car that is becoming so popular it has earned the sobriquet of the “Californian cockroach” – will be made available by the car rental company in Adelaide and Canberra.
“We are proud to offer a wider selection of low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles as part of our Green Collection. We are even more delighted for the addition of the Tesla 3 Model fully electric vehicle,” said Eoin MacNeill, VP for Asia Pacific in a note to The Driven.
“We are proud to offer our environmentally conscious customers, or those just wanting to try a unique driving experience, a first-class drive with the highest level of technology, comfort, and safety.”
MacNeill says the Model 3s are already “onboarding” which means it won’t be long before the vehicles will be available to book through the company’s website and smartphone app.
They will join a range of 2,000 plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles including vehicles from Toyota and Subaru. Hertz says that 20% of its fleet is now hybrid, and it intends to increase this percentage as more models become available.
The confirmation that the small fleet of Model 3s will be added to the Australia Hertz fleet comes as Hertz touts increasing its Tesla order by at least 50% over the next three years.
According to Reuters, Hertz intends to make 50,000 of the vehicles to Uber drivers. But it may increase this to 150,000 by 2024.
“Hertz will kick off the program by providing up to 50,000 vehicles by 2023 exclusively to Uber drivers. If successful, the program could expand to 150,000 Teslas during the next three years,” Hertz said in a statement to Reuters.
According to NBC, Hertz will hire the Model 3s to Uber drivers in the US for a rate of $US334 a week ($A442 converted) before lowering it to $US299 ($A396 converted). Uber drivers will be required to have a minimum 4.7 safety rating and have logged at least 150 trips with the rideshare company.
There are a number of companies in Australia that already have electric vehicles available for hire to drivers in Australia.
Europcar also took on board a small fleet of MG ZS EVs in April, becoming the first major car hire company in Australia to add zero-emissions options to its fleet.
The Driven has contacted Hertz Australia to determine if an increased order will result in more vehicles for local roads, and we will update this article if more information comes to hand.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.