Electric-vehicle renting and leasing expands in Europe

22 January 2023


Car-rental giant Hertz has expanded its partnership with ride-hailing company Uber. The new rental deal will give more Uber drivers access to electric vehicles (EVs). Hertz will make up to 25,000 EVs available to Uber drivers in European capital cities by 2025.

Tesla and Polestar vehicles will be available to customers, as well as a ‘wide range’ of suitable EVs. Central to this electric partnership is Uber’s stated commitment to go net zero in Europe and North America by 2030.

‘Expanding our partnership with Hertz into Europe will significantly boost our transition to zero emissions, helping drivers reduce running costs and cleaning up urban transport,’ said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO. ‘We aim to become a 100% electric platform across Europe by 2030.’

The new stock of EVs provided by Hertz will be available to Uber drivers from January 2023. They will be rolled out at Hertz Europe’s London base, with other European capitals, such as Paris and Amsterdam, following shortly after.

‘By making EVs available to rideshare drivers, we will not only contribute to reducing emissions in European cities but also expand opportunities for people to experience the benefits of electrification,’ stated Stephen Scherr, Hertz CEO. ‘As Hertz invests to create one of the largest EV fleets globally, our Uber partnership will ensure that we continue to lead in the rapidly-changing mobility landscape across Europe.’

The latest agreement builds on an existing partnership in North America, which has seen almost 50,000 drivers lease a Tesla, completing over 24 million fully-electric trips and over 260 million electric miles (418 million kilometres).

Buzz around Lightyear’s leasing deal

Solar-powered electric car’ producer, Lightyear, has also inked a significant deal recently. The Dutch company signed a pre-order agreement with European leasing group Arval, owned by the BNP Paribas Group. This deal includes the pre-order of 10,000 units of the Lightyear 2, which will be added to Arval’s leasing fleet from 2025.

The carmaker stated the total number of Lightyear 2 pre-orders from B2B partners now exceeds 21,000 units, amounting to a revenue of nearly €840 million. The new agreement is significant as it coincides with Lightyear embarking on its European market launch. From Arval’s point of view, the inclusion of 10,000 ground-breaking solar-powered cars helps the company address its own sustainability goals.

‘Lightyear’s technology is proven, affordable, and environmentally friendly, making a great addition to our fleet,’ commented Alain van Groenendael, chairman and CEO of Arval. ‘Our ambition is to lease 700,000 electrified vehicles as part of our global fleet by 2025, and we look forward to welcoming 10,000 Lightyear 2 cars, that help us to reach that goal.’

At CES 2022, Lightyear won an award for its solar-powered innovations. Fast forward to CES 2023, and additional details were revealed regarding the Lightyear 2. The carmaker claims the upcoming iteration of its solar-powered vehicle will possess a range of over 800km and require three times less charging time than a conventional EV. Prices are expected to start below €40,000.