In October of last year, rental-car giant Hertz has placed an order for 100,000 Teslas to be delivered by the end of 2022. At an estimated $4.2 billion, it was the biggest single order ever for Hertz, and the biggest electric vehicle (EV) order ever placed. Now Hertz and the Swedish premium electric performance car maker Polestar have announced a new global partnership that includes purchasing up to 65,000 EVs over the next five years. Hertz will initially order the Polestar 2, the model which is establishing Polestar's position as a premium EV manufacturer with its first volume model.
Polestar was once the name of Volvo of Sweden’s performance sub-brand. Geely in China bought Volvo and decided to use the Polestar name on a new series of luxury EVs that it builds in a plant in Lugiao, China for worldwide distribution, sharing a platform with the Volvo XC40 and a host of other Geely vehicles. Production is also planned in a new factory in South Carolina.
The Polestar 2 is a 5-door liftback that delivers an EPA-estimated 265 miles of range from its 78 kilowatt-hours (kWh) lithium-ion battery pack with a single 231-horsepower motor—a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version has 402 horsepower and gets EPA-estimated 249 miles of range.
"We are excited to partner with Polestar and look forward to introducing their premium EV products into our retail and rideshare fleets," said Stephen Scherr, Hertz CEO in a Hertz news release. "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."
Polestar reported that it nearly tripled volumes in 2021 and anticipates more than doubling volumes again this year. Polestar expects volumes to reach 290,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2025.
"Polestar is committed to accelerating the move to electric mobility with a fascinating and innovative product portfolio," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "We are delighted that Hertz has chosen Polestar as a strategic partner on their road to electrification. The partnership with a global pioneer like Hertz will bring the amazing experience of driving an electric car to a wider audience, satisfying a broad variety of our mutual customers' short- and longer-term mobility requirements. For many of them it may be the first time they have driven an EV, and it will be a Polestar."
Availability is expected to begin in Spring 2022 in Europe and late 2022 in North America and Australia.
Kevin Clemens is a Senior Editor with Battery Technology.