What Your Business Can Learn from a Rental Car Giant
Teslas in a lot

The multi-trillion Green Economic Revolution is now reaching mass market scale. That means your business and your leadership confronts a “go big or go home” moment.

Hertz has just pushed the accelerator to the floor by announcing the purchase of 100,000 Teslas. That’s a $4 billion plus bet by Hertz that electric vehicles (EVs) are America’s automotive future. Winning this bet will make Hertz the leading rental company for electric cars at airports across America. It will also win them least cost competitive advantage for fleet operations. Most importantly, it will win for Hertz unprecedented alignment with America’s millennial and GenZ consumers.

Electric Vehicles Cost Less to Fuel and Operate

Have you seen the recent press on a study that concludes electric vehicles cost more to operate than fossil fueled vehicles? Don’t believe it. That study is way off base for many reasons.

For example, the study includes a $1,600, level two, higher voltage recharging station as a cost of energy for individual car owners. The fact is that no EV owner has to buy a level two recharger to recharge their vehicle. EVs can be recharged using household voltage.

If an EV driver without a home located level two recharger wants a faster recharge then they can plug into the thousands of level three recharging stations that are now located across America. This is no different than what fossil fuel vehicle owners do at the gasoline pumps. The time advantage of using a level three recharger is that it can recharge a vehicle battery to its recommended 80% level in about 30 minutes. By comparison, on average it takes 15 minutes to fill a gasoline vehicle at a gas station.

For most individual EV owners using household voltage works just fine. Typically, once a week, they would plug in their EV at 7 PM and at 7 AM the next day it is recharged to the recommended 80% of battery capacity level.

What no gasoline fueled vehicle owner can do is fuel up for free. But EV owners have a path to free electricity recharging!

My experience is that there is a “going electric” progression by onsite solar owners when they realize they can save even more money by plugging more end uses into their solar system. The first step is usually turning their building into a total electric building. The next step is to then plug an EV into the onsite system. After about 5 to 8 years most onsite solar systems are fully paid off through cost savings and tax breaks. After that, they are recharging their EV for free except for the cost of cleaning the panels once or twice a year plus routine maintenance.

Here’s the real kicker for EV cost competitiveness. They have fewer parts! That translates into lower maintenance and repair costs, including no oil changes, compared to fossil fueled vehicles.

The even better news for future EV costs is that once the world’s auto industry moves into EV mass production they will cost less to make because they have fewer parts and require less labor to build. Projections are that EV procurement costs will be less than those for fossil fueled cars by 2030.

What the Hertz Move Means to Your Business

For years I have been advocating that every business should buy an EV to begin learning how it can deliver competitive advantage. Hertz just made it that much easier by letting you rent rather than buy that initial experience.

At a minimum, a business should rent a Hertz Tesla for a week to allow their management team to experience it. That experience will go a long way in resolving range anxiety concerns. It will also open leadership’s eyes to a learning curve appreciation that Teslas are rolling computers that require minimal maintenance, are updated through software downloads just like our computers and can win brand alignment with today’s millennial and GenZ consumers.

To really move up the learning curve I still recommend buying an EV. That will enable the CFO to crunch the numbers on the vehicle’s life of service cost competitiveness and it will enable the sales team to report back on how millennial and GenZ customers see an EV and think “innovative business with strong values.”

Do You Remember the Hertz 1966 Shelby Mustang GT?

Do you know who Hertz’s CEO is? It is Mark Fields, a former Ford CEO. Based on the time I have spent with Ford in Dearborn, MI, I can assure you that he lives and breathes the legacy of the Hertz 1966 Shelby Mustang GT. Ford and Hertz collaborated to design a special, exclusive edition Shelby Mustang GT that they rented out at airports across America at the very dawn of the Boomer Generation’s muscle car mania. That move brilliantly aligned Hertz with the Boomer Generation’s future business owners and leaders.

Fifty-five years later, Fields has just catapulted Hertz into that same branding and sales opportunity with the millennial and GenZ generations that are now America’s largest work associate and customer demographic. Field’s bold move is also a challenge to every business in America that still views clean tech as a niche opportunity.

The multi-trillion Green Economic Revolution that I projected in 2010 is now reaching mass market scale. That means your business and your leadership confronts a “go big or go home” moment.

Rent a Hertz Tesla, and then, while you are silently accelerating faster than any other fossil fueled vehicle on the street, take a moment to wipe that smile off your face and ask yourself: “How can my business capture first to market premiums like Hertz by using clean tech to cut costs and win customers?”

Related content:

Electric Cars Are Your Next Hot Consumer Electronic Purchase

Auto Industry Drives Toward Sustainable Profits

Made in America?


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