Levenson, who runs half a dozen electric vehicles on the Turo carsharing app, said Hertz was making a bigger bet in the electric market than many of the more timid players in the industry. Levenson’s rentals are a mix of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, plus a recently added Ford Mustang Mach-E.
âI expected Hertz to make incremental announcements, almost like traditional automakers dipping their toes into electric vehicles,â he said. âSo I had the feeling of sinking in my stomach thinking that my Models 3 and Y might be priced that is not competitive with Hertz. This part is a draw. “
The Tesla deal was the first of several Hertz announcements last week. This was followed by a partnership to rent Tesla cars to Uber drivers and an agreement with Carvana to sell rental cars through its used car platform. Fields also told CNN that Hertz could acquire 100,000 more vehicles for Uber.
Although suddenly faced with a rental giant in its electric vehicle niche, Levenson said he endorsed the move as good for the adoption of electric vehicles.
âI’m an investor in Tesla, I’m a multi-vehicle rental owner, I’m an automotive critic and I want people to have access to electric vehicles,â he said. His YouTube channel The Kilowatts featured several brands of electric vehicles.
With its rental startup on the West Coast, Levenson and partners in Seattle and Portland hope to spark market interest in the Cybertruck Tesla plans to build next year. With multiple Cybertruck bookings, the partners hope to stock up on a wild-style pickup before Hertz shows interest.
In the meantime, the Model 3 and Y are the perfect rental EVs, he said, because they’re desirable, easier to use than people think, and have a dedicated charging network for refueling. hassle-free. This cannot be said of some potential competitors.
Levenson has 500 locations to his credit. About half of its tenants have driven Tesla in the past, and some are owners. The other half is new to the brand. While a minority of renters use the vehicles for an extended test drive, most are visitors or locals who need to travel to the Bay Area or beyond.
Levenson has a two minute YouTube video as a quick start guide where he will walk customers through basic functions if present for vehicle transfer. Maybe one in 10 customers have a question after this. âIt’s really amazing how they designed these cars to be rental cars,â he said.
Take the 15-inch touchscreen that handles almost all of the vehicle’s functions – it’s not something you’ll find on today’s Hertz terrain. Even the glove box on Teslas requires the touch of a virtual button. Some might speculate that an uninitiated tenant might be intimidated.
âIt’s a complete misconception,â Levenson said. “People take it so easily and intuitively.” Some Hertz renters who end up in a Tesla might have difficulty if they expected a more conventional vehicle, Levenson said. But visual guides like the one he created should make the initial confusion a non-issue, he said.
Charging during the rental period is another potential problem. But unlike other electric vehicle makers, Tesla has its own network of superchargers with plug and charge capability that bills directly to a Tesla account.
Levenson said renters rarely have questions about Tesla charging on the road. This is more common among tenants of its Mach-E, who have to deal with several charging networks and different forms of payment. This is improving, with Electrify America providing plug and charge capability for the Ford.