German car rental hire company Sixt is entering the Australia market under a new deal with NRMA, and is offering 40 all-electric MG ZS EVs and 25 Tesla Model 3s as part of its fleet.
This makes it the largest all-electric fleet in Australia currently available for hire. Fellow rental giants Hertz and Europcar have also committed to adding electric cars to fleets, with Europcar adding 40 MG ZS EVs and Hertz said it will bring 350 of 100,000 Tesla Model 3s it plans to order from the Californian EV maker to Australia.
The announcement notes that by partnering with NRMA, Sixt automatically can claim 13% of Australia’s rental car market.
“The strategic partnership with the NRMA creates the perfect basis for SIXT to fully exploit the huge market potential in Australia,” said Konstantin Sixt, co-CEO of Sixt.
“It is only natural for us to offer our customers one of the country’s largest electric rental fleets upon entering the market.”
The new deal will see NRMA operate under the Sixt brand, where previously it operated under Thrifty. Sixt says it will operate from 160 branches, and according to its website the MG ZS EV and Tesla Model 3 can already be booked from Sydney, Melbourne,m Brisbane and Perth airports.
We have contacted Sixt and NRMA for more clarification on when the new EVs will become available for hire, however, we must note that with 16,000 cars in total slated for the Sixt fleet in Australia, this accounts for a tiny 0.4% of its entire fleet (smaller even than the private EV market share of a little under 2%).
However, with the NRMA committed to electrifying at least 50% of its fleet within the next five years, the 65 MG ZS EVs and Tesla Model 3s are just the start, says NRMA’s Peter Khoury.
“(Sixt) thinks they can get half the fleet to EV in five years,” Khoury told The Driven. “As more EV options become available the fleet will come to reflect that.”
The NRMA has already been instrumental in assisting the electric transport transition in NSW, having installed more than 44 EV charging stations throughout the state in key corridors from Byron Bay in the state’s north to Bega in the south, and even in Tanunda in South Australia.
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.