Auto industry experts have been predicting that 30-40% or so of all new light vehicles will be electric by 2030. I’ve held that once electric vehicles drop in price to the point where they are cheaper than gas vehicles to drive off the lot, you will see demand for gas vehicles evaporate quickly. Various battery experts have put that in the 2024 time frame.
The number of new EVs hitting the US market over the next couple of years made me confident in my prediction.
It has become clear that electric vehicles are already less expensive to own, once you figure total cost over the life of the vehicle. As a result, the number of folks considering an EV for their next vehicle has increased. We can now add large fleet owners to that number.
Shortly after I got to work this morning, the news broke that Hertz has entered into an agreement to purchase 100,000 Teslas between now and the end of next year. To put that into perspective, Hertz has about half a million cars and trucks on the road, so this represents 20% of their fleet. Tesla production is approaching a million cars a year, so this represents 10% of their current global production.
It appears that Hertz is paying full sticker for those 100,000 Teslas too. The folks at Hertz wouldn’t be making a $4 billion purchase if they didn’t see the business case for it.
We are witnessing an inflection point. As of today, things will never be the same.
With the Hertz order, you are seeing EVs officially becoming mainstream. It is clear that the transition to electric is now fully underway.
This is the real deal. If you order a base Model 3 today, you can look forward to getting your car next June. Their sales are up over 70% from last year and they literally can’t make new cars fast enough to keep up with demand, even before you factor in the 100,000 car order from Hertz. Tesla has two new factories, one in Texas and the other in Germany, that will be going online in the next few months. Tesla is going to need them. Hertz has also announced that they are open to ordering additional electric vehicles from other manufacturers. The other car manufacturers are now playing catch up.
Amusingly, Steve Hanley wrote an article this past week for CleanTechnica suggesting in no uncertain terms that Toyota’s Chief Scientist was wrong to downplay the EV revolution, going so far as to suggest that readers should go to their local Toyota dealership and ask to see their selection of battery electric cars, then leaving their contact information and ask the dealer to get in touch when they do.
What makes this so funny is that the West Pasco Hertz office is housed at Sun Toyota. Sun will soon be in the unenviable position of renting out Teslas, including to Toyota owners, while being unable to offer a single battery electric vehicle for sale. Ouch! Someone at Sun may want to drop a note to Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda and suggest the company needs to get things in gear.
Businesses and communities need to prepare for this transition as well. New Port Richey has a good start, with 18 public charging spots in place. Northbay Hospital, the Central on Orange Lake, and Stonehaven have provisions for EV charging for their customers or residents. I predict that you will see a surge in businesses in the area promoting their charging stations.
We reached the inflection point even faster than I had imagined possible. Things are about to get VERY interesting.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor