Hertz confirms it ordered 100,000 Teslas — but Elon Musk says he doesn’t know about it

Nov 2, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hertz announced on Oct. 25 that it would order 100,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles by the end of 2022 and add electric vehicle charging infrastructure worldwide. But according to Tesla founder Elon Musk, no deal has been reached.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter.

“I’d like to emphasize that no contract has been signed yet,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 1, just days after the announcement. “Tesla has far more demand than production, therefore we will only sell cars to Hertz for the same margin as to consumers.” Tesla stock fell just under 1% on Tuesday after Musk’s tweet.

Adding to the confusion, Hertz released a statement saying that Tesla deliveries have already begun.

“As we announced last week, Hertz has made an initial order of 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles and is investing in new EV charging infrastructure across the company’s global operations. Deliveries of the Teslas already have started. We are seeing very strong early demand for Teslas in our rental fleet, which reflects market demand for Tesla vehicles.”

Hertz previously said Tesla vehicles would be available at airport and neighborhood locations in several U.S. and European markets starting in early November. TPG followed up with Hertz about whether vehicles were already available and will update this post if we hear back.

Interim chief executive Mark Fields called electric vehicles “mainstream” in the Oct. 25th statement, saying “we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest.”

“The new Hertz is going to lead the way as a mobility company,” the statement continued, “starting with the largest EV rental fleet in North America and a commitment to grow our EV fleet and provide the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the world.”

The news — if true — couldn’t come at a better time, as it’s an effort to help Hertz meet fall and winter demand as travel recovers. The company says Hertz’s global fleet will be 20% electric vehicles by the end of 2022. Additionally, customers who rent a Tesla Model 3 will have access to 3,000 charging stations throughout the U.S. and Europe.

The rental car meltdown travelers experienced this spring, which we covered extensively, resulted from companies falling on hard financial times during the pandemic. These companies quickly sold large portions of their fleet and canceled upcoming orders. However, car rental companies couldn’t keep up with the demand once travel began to bounce back.

That led to travelers arriving at the airport or rental facilities only to find that their previously confirmed reservations had been canceled due to lack of supply. Destinations particularly reliant on travel, like Hawaii, reported a 40% decrease in rental car supply during the pandemic. In some cases, some cavalier travelers rented U-Haul vans or trucks from home improvement stores to get to where they needed to go.

Like many other travel companies, Hertz was significantly impacted by the pandemic and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, but it has since exited. The company has also done work to attract new members to its loyalty program and retain existing members. Hertz announced this summer that it would give Five Star elite status to all new Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members and that current members would earn double points on all rentals through the end of the year.

Featured photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.