Sagging Used-Car Prices, Spiking Maintenance & Repair Costs, and a Post-Bankruptcy Propaganda Coup Turn Toxic for Hertz

Americans need lower car prices. But not Hertz. “The residual decline … was relative to both ICE vehicles and EVs”: Hertz

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Rental car operator Hertz Global Holdings has had a nasty time in the stock market since it emerged from bankruptcy (filed Chapter 11 in May 2020, emerged on June 30, 2021). The new stock closed on the first day of trading at $26.99, then wobbled lower until the meme-stock crowd briefly fancied it again, and it spiked to $35 by November 2021. And then everything came apart.

Shares collapsed further last week, after the company booked a quarterly loss of $561 million before taxes, on soaring maintenance costs, soaring collision-damage repair costs, and plunging prices of used vehicles that crushed residual values of ICE vehicles and EVs in its fleet, leading to a mark-to-market write-down and much faster depreciation.

Vehicle depreciation and lease charges spiked by 154%, or by $578 million, to $969 million. The spike accounted for more than the entire pre-tax loss. Of that $969 million depreciation expense, $195 million was a mark-to-market write-down of the residual values of EVs held-for-sale.

“But the residual decline we saw during the quarter on forward residual values was relative to both ICE vehicles and EVs. So, it’s not a problem solely related to EVs,” explained CFO Alexandra Brooks during the earnings call (transcript via Seeking Alpha).

The biggest problem was that it had purchased ICE vehicles in 2021 and 2022 at used-vehicle auctions and as new vehicles at crazy peak prices. And values of those vehicles in its fleet have been plunging since then. The entire math of rental fleets was turned upside down by the massive gyrations of vehicle prices.

Shares have collapsed by 86% from the peak and are solidly seated in our pantheon of Imploded Stocks. That 7.9% bounce today to $4.77 is barely visible (data via YCharts):

Buy high, sell low.

During the pandemic, automakers ran into semiconductor shortages, causing production cuts globally, and the vehicles they did build were largely higher-end models and trim packages to get maximum dollars, and they were sold largely to retail customers. Incentives, including for fleet sales vanished. Deliveries to rental fleets plunged, and those vehicles that fleets could get were high-priced. Rental fleets then covered the shortages by buying used vehicles at auctions to help meet demand amid the “revenge” travel boom.

During that time, new vehicle prices soared; and used vehicle prices, including wholesale prices at auction where rental fleets were suddenly buying instead of selling, spiked in a historic manner.

That craziness peaked in late 2021 and early 2022, and then used vehicle wholesale prices and retail prices swooned in a historic manner, unwinding part of the spike.

From the peak, prices of used vehicle sold at auction have plunged by 17% not seasonally adjusted, and by 21% seasonally adjusted, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. Or by nearly $4,000 per vehicle.

For Hertz, it means the value of vehicles in its fleet has plunged far faster than the normal rental-fleet depreciation that occurs as vehicles age and rack up miles.

These used-vehicle wholesale prices are what Hertz is facing when it sells its vehicles at wholesale auctions or to big used-vehicle dealers. In essence, its fleet is deeply underwater, leading to massive mark-to-market write-downs and much higher depreciation rates, which fueled the loss in Q1:

Used vehicle retail prices, which had spiked by 53% in 2020 through 2021, have now unwound nearly one-third of that spike. So this is what Hertz is facing when it’s retailing vehicles at its own dealerships:



And then there are the ballooning maintenance and repair costs.

The Consumer Price Index for motor vehicle maintenance and repair leaped in March and was up by 8.2% from a year ago, and by 37% from four years ago. CPI reflects cost increases that consumers face. For fleets, cost increases, including for collision damage repairs, were similar.

Piling into EVs to create hype caused a “collision with renters that are not familiar with the operations of driving a new EV.”

Hertz made the announcement in September 2021, months after emerging from bankruptcy, that it would massively pile into Teslas.

The meme-stock crowd picked up on it, and Hertz shares doubled in two months – the WTF spike in the top chart above.

And it caused Tesla shares to spike to their all-time high in November 2021 (despite the 15% jump today, Tesla shares are down 53% from the November 2021 high).

We here pooh-poohed this deal at the time as a “propaganda coup,” for Hertz and for Tesla, and for the “selling shareholders” of Hertz, namely some hedge funds and PE firms that had gotten the shares during the bankruptcy proceeding in exchange for its debt they’d bought for cents on the dollar before the bankruptcy, and that had filed to sell their shares.

Turns out, there’s an EV learning curve. The average rental-car customer has never driven an EV, isn’t familiar with EVs, has no clue about the charging systems, and doesn’t know how to use the Tesla app and Tesla’s route planning system to find charging stations, etc. When people step off a plane, they don’t want to spend hours figuring out how all this stuff works.

So not enough customers reserved EVs, given the size of the EV fleet, because they didn’t want to mess with the learning curve. In addition, Hertz had trouble upgrading customers for free to EVs when ICE vehicles were not available.  When rental car companies don’t have the vehicle type a customer reserved (for example, “economy car”), they offer the customer a free upgrade to a vehicle the they do have, and normally that’s welcome. But not when the upgrade is an EV that people don’t know how to use.

Hertz said in its earnings call that there was demand for EVs, but not to the extent that they had EVs in the fleet. So Hertz decided to drastically reduce the number of EVs in its fleet.

Reducing the EV fleet “is going to eliminate a portion of collision with renters that are not familiar with the operations of driving a new EV who otherwise would have chosen to take an ICE vehicle. But unfortunately, what they’re needing to take is an EV based on the fleet mix,” Hertz Chief Operating Officer Justin Keppy explained.

And Tesla then did what Americans need the most: It cut prices on new vehicles, over and over again. Other automakers followed and also cut EV prices. And each time a new-vehicle price gets cut, all used vehicles of that model experience a similar drop in value, determined largely by the spread between new and used models. And these price cuts by Tesla – great for consumers wanting to buy vehicles – are toxic for fleets that already own EVs. The price cuts caused the residual values of Hertz’s EV fleet to sag even faster than the residuals of its ICE vehicles.

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  146 comments for “Sagging Used-Car Prices, Spiking Maintenance & Repair Costs, and a Post-Bankruptcy Propaganda Coup Turn Toxic for Hertz

  1. Cynical Engineer says:

    The bad news from the residual value on Hertz’s fleet was amplified by Hertz’s accounting practice.

    When deciding how much money to charge against earnings for fleet depreciation, the company has to decide if they’re going to be optimistic or pessimistic.

    Hertz has historically gone for maximum optimism, which has meant that when cars don’t sell for as much as projected, they have to take a charge against earnings. Sometimes a BIG charge.

    In other words, Hertz’s numbers look really good until they suddenly don’t, and Wall Street hates surprises.

    • Cas127 says:

      Important point about how accounting “standards” frequently leave a lot of discretion to mgt regarding future projections.

      At this point in history, it is a pretty safe assumption that 80%+ of companies (looking *especially* at you, banks/lenders) are aggressive in their allowed projections.

      So everything looks pretty dandy, until it “mysteriously” turns to sh*t.

      This particularly happens with C office turn over (newbies pin the accumulated cancer on the exes that cultivated it) and when competitors start doing so (if everybody takes the big bath at the same time, investors don’t know who to punish).

    • robert says:

      Hertz also said that besides the lack of forecasted customer acceptance the reason for selling the 30,000 Teslas was high maintenance and reliability expenses. For now anyway they still have 70,000 of them (I think they bought 100,000). Forecasting is difficult.
      The “Full Driver Attention Hands on the Steering Wheel Full Autonomous Driving” feature, still promised to be in the future is not helping as a selling feature for the curious and adventurous either.

      • max says:

        Ford just announced it has lost “$132,000 for each of the 10,000 (electric) vehicles it sold in the first three months of the year,” amounting to a loss of $1.3 billion so far this year.

        and spin is included as well:

        The losses go far beyond the cost of building and selling those 10,000 cars, according to Ford. Instead the losses include hundreds of millions being spent on research and development of the next generation of EVs for Ford. Those investments are years away from paying off.

  2. Gen Z says:

    Is it even legal what is happening with Hertz? I thought that brand names like these don’t operate like fly by night scandals. Even if one bought the dip at $10, they still lost about 60% today.

    • The Real Tony says:

      I guess when OJ Simpson died Hertz died. OJ used to do the commercials for Hertz rent a car.

    • NBay says:

      You obviously don’t remember all the HUGE “Buy/use brand names” campaigns by the advertising companies. (obviously it was good for their busyness.) Generally “quality” was cited as the biggest reason, and the guaranteed same taste, service, or whatever…..familiarity….people like that, ie, foods, fast food, etc.

      When everyone was finally forced to invest, if they didn’t want to risk being poverty stricken in their old age, the message was deeply imbedded, as you just demonstrated. Part of the training you got from parents, mostly, in your early years you don’t remember at all. (see neoteny as bio-term)

      Also makes it harder for new guys to break in, which reduces competition and brings about more “economy of scale”, Standard Corp “growth” MO.

      • NBay says:

        Oh, and how could I forget neoteny producing people with the same religion or just “thinking” the same?

        Affirmation is the oldest sales trick in the book…..people love being affirmed…..deep ancient “wiring”.

  3. Irish Ozark says:

    In Ireland many garages are looking for more money for 2nd hand EV’s than new ones. I kid you not.

    • Trucker Guy says:

      Same thing has happened in the US with pickup trucks. Especially diesel ones.

      Guy slaps on a 2k dollar rough country lift kit, cantaloupe sized muffler, and 3k worth of tires and it is suddenly worth 20k over sticker price with only 50k miles.

      • BB ini says:

        Trucker Guy and group why are diesel trucks so much more expensive? That’s one segment of the market I don’t understand especially the ones that have the after market stuffs like Trucker Guy mentions crazy to pay those prices !

        • Bobert says:

          Diesel trucks are a status symbol. You don’t want to be the guy driving the “gasser” because you couldn’t afford the Duramax, Cummins or Power Stroke. If you’re a blue collar guy pulling in $150k/yr, it’s just a part of the culture to drive the highest trim diesel you can possibly afford (along with a boat, 3-row SUV for the wife, and a side-by-side). Of course, there’s a legitimate segment of buyers who actually need the torque that the diesel affords them for towing RVs, trailers, etc, but most of the time it’s simply a “look what I’ve got” sort of thing.

        • Home toad says:

          Nice truck…. then some fat slob climbs out and has a heart attack.

          “Well his truck looks nice, and look at those rims as he squirms on the ground in pain”.

          The crowd gathers round admiring his shiny red truck as the ambulance rolls to a stop.

        • Depth Charge says:

          Diesel trucks are more expensive because the engine itself is more expensive to design and build (the upcharge on the engine alone is like $10k these days), they have heavy duty running gear, and overall are designed to endure more abuse.

          They also last longer and are an absolute necessity for those of us like myself who haul heavy trailers. I have a 16k trailer, a 14k and a 10k. While gasoline engines have come a long way, as well as transmissions, diesels provide peak torque at low rpm, and provide better fuel economy, especially when towing.

          You would have to drive both under heavy load to understand the difference. A gasoline engine is screaming and sounding like it will explode at 5,500 rpm in the mountains, not even maintaining speed, while the diesel is just purring along at 2,200 rpm like nothing is bothering it.

          The new diesels are providing over 1,000 lb ft of torque and can still manage 11 mpg with a heavy trailer. You are getting 5 with the gas engine. Ford’s massive 7.3 gasoline engine still only provides 475 lb ft of torque – less than half. Low rpm torque is what gets the load moving and keeps it moving, especially in the mountains.

          If I didn’t need a diesel truck I would never buy one. They are lousy grocery getters and pretty much suck for running around town. Out on the highway they are great, but the ride isn’t. And the prices…..

          What is desperately needed, in my opinion, is a hybrid one ton diesel pickup which the market for some reason is completely ignoring. I believe they could design something exceptional. People like myself need to haul heavy loads, and EVs provide lots of torque which would marry well with the diesel and also provide the necessary range.

        • NBay says:

          Don’t forget the wanting the diesel sound is similar to wanting the Harley sound. Buy some guts and glory, outlaw freedom, go do truck (or otherwise super macho) stuff, be someone who can be counted on, etc, etc etc.

          But they are best for big trucks, trains and big ships, for a variety of present econ reasons.

          Still just a use of fire…..tool for some…..and the basis of life for ALL living things….REDOX.

        • Dmitry Sorkin says:

          Their common rail fuel systems are expensive. Injectors are $1k/ea. Fuel pump is $5k. Ammonia can crystallize on your DEF sensors if you park your truck for long enough. They’re a money pit, unless you use your diesel truck for work.

          A contractor who does more than a couple homes per year and does it all would probably buy a HDT (dump truck) and be able to tow or haul anything, but the diesel pickups fill a niche for hauling equipment like skid loaders and mini excavators.

          DC: if you don’t mind me asking, what do you mainly haul with your trailers? I pull an 8.5×18 enclosed trailer that I use to transport ladders and tools. Everything else I pay to get delivered.

  4. Bond Vigilante Wannabe says:

    Wolf,

    Excellent write up as always.

    A corollary of this article is that the massive TSLA stock price drop in 2022 was due to 2 factors: (1) increasing interest rates made buying cars on credit more expensive, and (2) supply glut from used Teslas being sold.

    Obviously, margin calls on overly leveraged longs played a big part, but the fundamentals were dangerously challenged by the foregoing.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      There is no “supply glut” of Teslas. There is a supply glut of Ram pickups and of all kinds of other ICE vehicles, with over 90 days supply. That’s where the supply glut is, not with Teslas.

      • BS ini says:

        And my friend just purchased a used Diesel 2500 LT GMC when he could have bought a new Ram for less . Car buying can be difficult

        • El Katz says:

          He might have made a good choice. Stellantis appears to be on the ropes.

        • Depth Charge says:

          “He might have made a good choice. Stellantis appears to be on the ropes.”

          Stellantis raised their prices more than any, if I recall. They got obscenely greedy. And it’s coming back to haunt them. Good. Now they have massive inventory issues which can only be solved by cutting prices. But they’re not doing that yet. I could see 40% off some new vehicles in the coming few years.

        • NBay says:

          How many ways does your tail gate fold? Does it have a TV in it?
          How many cameras? Computer work station? A BBQ with propane tank? Wet bar?

          Love that hedonism!

        • MussSyke says:

          Everyone I’ve ever seen that drives a Dodge truck is a total freak: either has SDS, PTSD (by choice), and/or is just a mouth breather.

          Not that moat truck guys are much better…but nothing is worse than a Dodge guy with a lift kit and veiny truck nuts.

  5. Jim says:

    This is so true. Neither myself not my coworker enjoy renting electric vehicles. We always opt out for gas powered. Less stress. No need to plan routes. Easy to divert from a route. No need to wait or search for charging stations, etc.

    • MiTurn says:

      Jim,
      I never thought about that, the need to plan one’s route according to the availability of chargers. What a pain and inconvenience.

      Excellent point!

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        Yeah, I brought that point up about 2 months ago… Wolf accused me trying to spread “anti-EV” BS.
        Lol!

      • Wolf Richter says:

        MiTurn and Harvey Mushman,

        This stupid anti-EV BS never ends, does it???? Tesla chargers are everywhere. It’s the other way around. You put your route into the system (if you want), and the system tells you about how far you can go before you need to charge and points out convenient charging stations on the way so that any dufus can find them right on the way.

        Like using the navigation system in your ICE car, but it forgets to point out the gas stations that you might need when you get down to the last 2 gallons?

        When people see “EV,” sparks fly in their brains and trigger short-circuits.

        • rojogrande says:

          SpencerG,

          That’s interesting. I’m admittedly in California, but Teslas really are a dime-a-dozen here. There were over 415,000 new Teslas registered in California just in 2022 (185K) and 2023 (230K). In my neighborhood, I’d estimate 20-30% of the cars are Teslas.

          If Teslas still seem exotic in Alabama, it doesn’t change the fact Wolf is correct in saying supercharging stations are everywhere. Including 22 in Alabama with 246 chargers.

        • Nick Kelly says:

          Isn’t Alabama a large state? And there are 27 superchargers and 200 + chargers? Wow.

          How many gas stations are there? Obviously thousands. Time to fill 10 minutes, including pay if manual. Time wait to begin fill, usually zero.

          I have nothing against EVs, but this idea that the ease of refill is equal is not true. Govt has to get WAY on board to level field, which is currently built for ICEs.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Nick Kelly,

          1. Alabama is one of the states that has blocked Tesla from selling cars there. So people in Alabama cannot even buy a Tesla directly in Alabama because their stupid government doesn’t allow them to. Freedom of choice and all that. The dealer lobby in Alabama has the legislature in its pocket, and they don’t want Tesla in their state. They hate competition. They hate giving people the freedom to choose what car they want to buy. They use the state franchise law to keep Tesla from competing with them. Obviously, people are pretty smart, and so is Tesla, they know how to get around this by buying their Tesla online and engineering the delivery so it doesn’t count as sale in Alabama.

          There are other states like that, including Musk’s preferred Texas. Texans can work in the Tesla factory but cannot legally buy a Tesla in Texas, they have to jump through these hoops (there is a country song in this somewhere).

          2. Alabama has a population of a big city (5 million).

        • ChS says:

          I’m familiar with EV’s and understand the limits and benefits, but renting one sucks. Of the four I’ve rented, not a single one was charged, like the gauge was at 20%. So now I’m tired, just want to go to the hotel, and I have to get the damn thing charged, or run it on fumes, so to speak.

          The problem I’ve observed is that the rental companies didn’t install the charging infrastructure to support their fleet. Or their employees don’t know, or don’t care enough, to get thing charged when it is returned low.

        • SpencerG says:

          Nick…

          Yes, Alabama and Mississippi are very tall states. As are Florida and Texas (although I think they have more charging stations). Even using the interstates it can take eight hours to get from top to bottom. So a couple dozen fueling depots statewide really isn’t going to cut it to get widespread adoption. I don’t know what the actual range of these cars is… I hear lots of things and as Wolf says, plenty of the things I hear are from people who are just anti-EV in the extreme.

          That said I have always thought that it was the delivery vans that should be the test platform for EVs. There are a lot of advantages to letting Fedex, UPS, Amazon, and USPS do the legwork on EV adoption issues.

        • rojogrande says:

          Nick Kelly,

          Were you following the comment thread. The issue was finding places to charge on a trip. There are also several places throughout Alabama to charge cars other than Tesla supercharging stations. If the car is for personal use, you will charge it at home. No need to find one of those thousands of gas stations. I was only pointing out that even planning a trip through Alabama, where SepencerG has only seen 2 Teslas, isn’t very difficult.

          Also, why would you say you have nothing against EVs and immediately say “but this idea that the ease of refill is equal is not true”? Since I never said charging stations are as ubiquitous as gas stations, this appears to be something you have against EVs. That’s fine, no need to suggest you have nothing against EVs.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          If EVs are “the thing”, Wolf, why did you replace your wife’s wrecked IC vehicle with another IC?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I never said they were “the thing.” They’re a radically different and ultimately cheaper-to-build and operate propulsion method for motor vehicles that is tearing up the legacy automakers and is introducing price competition in a market run by an oligopoly that has done nothing but hike prices out the wazoo, especially on trucks – you may not know this because you drive some old POS, as you explained, but check prices of a Ford F-150. It’s ridiculous. And there are a lot of morons out there who want to stop OTHER PEOPLE from buying EVs, and they’re doing it by spreading idiotic ignorant lies about EVs. If you spread anti-EV bullshit and lies, you’re one of them. I have no idea why these morons out there want to decide what OTHER PEOPLE want and can buy. A big part of this site is about the auto industry, and EVs are the biggest thing that happened to this industry for the four decades I’ve been involved with it. If you don’t like, that’s your own problem, you’re on the wrong site.

          “why did you replace your wife’s wrecked IC vehicle with another IC?”

          1. Because we buy low-mileage used vehicles (20-30K miles, ca. 2-3 years old), that’s our sweet spot because the vehicle is like a street fighter that comes home injured from time to time, but the only really mass-produced EVs with some years of production history in that range are Teslas. So that’s not much of a choice (see #2 below). A few years from now, there will be more choices of mass-produced EVs with some years of production history.

          2. Because I don’t want to buy a Tesla because I don’t want my wife to discover Autopilot and kill herself on the way to work. OK, Ford has the same problem now with its hands-free system, it seems.

        • BS ini says:

          I just checked Google maps for Tesla super charge in Tyler Tx . There is one the Home Depot Home Services department . Tyler Tx is a town of 120k. I see a Tesla on the street about every 7 days. I wonder if the Tesla store has one?
          And I love the concept of EV having dealt with gas engines in the oilfield all my life electric motors are much more reliable and easier to replace and repair. Maybe the Tesla chargering companies don’t register with Google Maps.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          BS ini

          “I wonder if the Tesla store has one?”

          There are no “Tesla stores” in Texas, only service centers and showrooms.

          Texas is one of the states that has blocked Tesla from selling cars there. So people in Texas can work in the Tesla factory but cannot buy a Tesla at a dealership in Texas because their stupid state-government doesn’t allow them to. Freedom of choice and all that 🤣. The dealer lobby in Texas has the legislature in its pocket, and they don’t want Tesla in their state. They hate competition. They hate giving people the freedom to choose what car they want to buy. They use the state franchise law to keep Tesla from competing with them. Obviously, Texans are pretty smart, and so is Tesla, they know how to get around this by buying their Tesla online and engineering the delivery so it doesn’t count as sale in Texas.

        • Kenn says:

          Tesla chargers may be “everywhere” in California, but not elsewhere. There are 8 in the Cleveland, OH area, and all are in the city, or beside the freeways around the city. Once you get to the small towns and rural areas, where actually lots of people live, there are NO chargers available, Gas stations, however are everywhere.
          In my opinion, living in a semi-rural area, a plug in hybrid is the best solution when I replace my current vehicle. All electric with home charging for the numerous short trips, with a very efficient gas motor there for longer ones.
          Extra advantages; the much smaller battery means less weight, longer tire life, and less cost – even after paying for the gas engine.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Kenn,

          Alternatively, you could just charge your Tesla at home, or at the farm, LOL. Forget gas stations.

        • rojogrande says:

          SpencerG,

          The distance from Mobile, AL to Chattanooga, TN, is 400 miles and that’s crossing the state at an angle. If you start with a full charge, then you only need one charging station on the way. It really isn’t difficult to plan, though using an ICE or hybrid vehicle is certainly more flexible.

        • Harvey Mushman says:

          Wolf,
          I’m not “anti-EV”, are you the “Jim Jones” of EV?

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You’re spreading anti-EV BS in your prior comments.

          EVs use a radically different and ultimately cheaper-to-build and operate propulsion method that is tearing up the legacy automakers and is introducing price competition in a market run by an oligopoly that has done nothing but hike prices out the wazoo, especially on trucks. Check prices of a Ford F-150. It’s ridiculous. And there are a lot of morons out there who want to stop OTHER PEOPLE from buying EVs, and they’re doing it by spreading idiotic ignorant BS and lies about EVs. If you spread anti-EV bullshit and lies, you’re one of them. I have no idea why these morons out there want to decide what OTHER PEOPLE want and can buy. A big part of this site is about the auto industry, and EVs are the biggest thing that happened to this industry for the four decades I’ve been involved with it. If you don’t like it, that’s your own problem, you’re on the wrong site. And you don’t get to abuse my site to spread anti-EV BS and lies.

        • Louie says:

          Great Answer Wolf,
          With a Tesla, one really needs to read the owners manual. Things are different but most things are actually better for a driving experience.
          Now, no renter is going to read the owner’s manual first so Teslas for rent was a really bad idea for Hertz.
          There’s no car out there like a Tesla.

        • Home toad says:

          “Tesla chargers are everywhere”
          I have one in my bathroom, powers up my bidet.

          Electric is superior over ice in so many ways, if you can see it so can I.
          For now I’ll take my ice vehicle that im familiar with, know how to work on, low ins costs, low registration costs. Got it for 1,500 from a friend 10 years ago.

          I had an ice fridge once then I switched to electric…amazing

          The future is electric IMHO, a few more charging stations and another 10 years to work on the battery thing.
          Who doesn’t want a golf cart that goes 300 miles, doesn’t stink, with low maintenance.

        • realityczech says:

          I only buy used cars. How can I assess the health of a battery pack in a Tesla or other BEV or PHEV? What happens when cells go bad (they do)? What is the typical repair cost and how frequent does that occur?

          I don’t care what any proprietary software tells me… i want to be able to hook up a scanner and have that tell me battery health status.

          I’m asking because AFAIK, no BEV mfg can provide this information using independent tools. I don’t want to get pinched for a 10-25k battery 4 years into ownership.

    • Marcus1 says:

      The majority of my rentals are in CA and that’s when I love getting a Tesla from Hertz. No problem finding charging anywhere I have gone. But when I tried an EV in rural PA on a one way rental, the destination store (Enterprise I think) didn’t want to take it. They hate getting EVs because they can’t get them off their lot. Someday we will get to a place where EVs are more widely accepted but we are not there.

    • Nick Kelly says:

      Kind of obvious even in a boardroom. Also one big reason for EV is savings on gas. Irrelevant for a short term rental.

      Whatever happens to the Hertz fleet, Tesla does not depreciate its own lease fleet as normal, maintaining that as soon as ‘full self driving’ is perfected: ‘some day soon’ all its cars can become lucrative robo-taxis.

      Is Musk’s pilgrimage to Xi to sell FSD, insurance against a long overdue US ban on at least the name if not the claim, like the ban in Germany?

      Xi’s motive? Maybe it’s: ‘If I make nice to US icon. US make nice back.’

      • SpencerG says:

        “Also one big reason for EV is savings on gas. Irrelevant for a short term rental.”

        Good point. Often times people will rent a car at a car rental agency to do an extended test drive… but I don’t think you can base the company’s strategy on that.

    • Braincramp says:

      “Turns out, there’s an EV learning curve.”

      Yes, there’s a curve but clearly the average customer knows that while EVs are great as city cars, they suck long-range.

    • Christopher says:

      When you champion diversity hires. This is the obvious outcome. No competent person would believe people looking for short term rentals would want to spend 1/3 their vacation or business trip just to charge a car

  6. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    Speaking of used car market, it’s been interesting observing the used Corvette C8 market. Price definitely been coming down even for the more desirable trim level, as with everything though, there’s still a lot of wishful thinking asking price, especially on FB, which is interesting to go through for a good laugh…then once in a while you still get some insane dealer still asking over MSRP while others are cutting $5k off sticker or coming close to invoice…

    Much like the housing market, it will probably take some major event to bring some these jokes to come back down to earth on asking price…time will tell

    • RH says:

      I suspect many prices will come down within months, because demand is lower. Stubborn sellers are choosing not to sell many assets with lower FMVs already because buyers will not pay the prices demanded. The “Striper Index” indicates reduced disposable incomes for the middle and upper class. The rich are selling billions of dollars in stock!

    • MM says:

      I’m just waiting for a recession so I can pickup an FK8 Civic Type R for pennies on the dollar.

      • Phoenix_Ikki says:

        Starting to see some coming down too…much like housing market in SoCal, sellers in SoCal for FK8 still delusional asking at sticker for a used car. I did find one or two listed East coast, low mileage dip below $40k Not rebranded or salvage either…

        • MM says:

          I’m holding out for lower prices. Time should help with that. I’m specifically looking for the 2017-2019 that were before the mid-model refresh. They’re consistently between $30k & $40k right now but hoping to eventually scoop one for closer to $20k.

  7. CCCB says:

    And just wait until post pandemic travel goes back to normal and they start losing money on their rental operations too!

    Typical PE cycle. Buy broke company out of bakruptcy. Load them up with debt for big payout to investors (or in this case go public), watch them go under again and get bought out by another PE firm.

  8. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    (despite the 15% jump today, Tesla shares are down 53% from the November 2021 high)

    Wondering if this will turn out to be your classic case of buy the rumor, sell the news type of move, I think it will likely be latter since we don’t know all the details for this self driving approval with China and if they go balls to the wall and fully approve FSD, then good luck to them to have that much faith in Tesla’s FSD…

    • MM says:

      I think these big price moves are just a sign of the times: high leverage & algorithmic trading.

      Goog and meta recently had big (10%) intraday moves as well.

  9. Gary says:

    For those business majors: Perhaps Hertz could bundle up their cars “pink slips” into derivatives that they could leverage and sell at about 3 to 1. That would take any real world car production cost and depreciation loss out of the equation.

  10. Happy Jack says:

    I can confirm first hand how crazy it was in early 2022 and how I took advantage ……

    I leased a Toyota RAV4 LE in August 2019 in San Jose for my wife. We settled on a price of $28K with a $19K buyout after 3 years. Noticing this crazy used car market, I paid off the lease early in March 2022 and put the car up for sale. Mind you my wife only put on 14,000 miles in the 2.5 years. I listed the car an Auto Trader and sold it to an on-line dealer in Alabama for $33K. Unbeknownst to me he simply flipped it to Avis in Oakland for $35K and they put it into their fleet. I took the cash and found a Toyota dealer in Vegas that was selling cars at invoice ……. paid cash for a $40K , 2022 “Limited” RAV4 for a net of $26K.

  11. Redundant says:

    Re: “ So not enough customers reserved EVs, given the size of the EV fleet, because they didn’t want to mess with the learning curve”.

    Imho, this is the ….

    [REST OF CONTENT DELETED BY WOLF BECAUSE IT WAS ANTI-EV BS AND LIES]

    • Wolf Richter says:

      This BS was part of the deleted content:

      “Tesla, is definitely not a mainstream auto. I rarely see them and they don’t stand out as unique.”

      Why do I have to deal with this ignorant BS here by people who never read anything? The Tesla Model Y is the #1 bestselling model globally in 2023 and the #2 bestselling model in the US, after the F-series pickup truck. It’s a huge mainstream-success vehicle.

      • SpencerG says:

        Oops… I meant to apply this comment to THIS post…

        You can say that all you want Wolf, but I am not “anti-EV” at all… I fully expect my next vehicle to be one. But I have only ever laid eyes on a Tesla twice in my life… last week some relatives from California were visiting my parents on a cross-country trip… and TODAY there was a lady loading groceries into one when I was in the beach community of Gulf Shores, Alabama.

        Don’t let living in California cause you to have “confirmation bias”… Teslas are still pretty exotic. (Of course the confirmation bias warning could also apply to me. CHUCKLE).

        • David S says:

          I live in a boring flyover state. There are two or three Teslas in the parking lot where I work. I even pass a white Rivian on my commute most days.

          In my area, EVs are less common than ICE vehicles. However, by no stretch of the imagination can you call them “exotic”. I see many more Teslas than Ferarris or Lamborghinis.

        • ApartmentInvestor says:

          California has always had a bigger mix of cars than other states I spent weeks in rural MI and WI in the 70’s and didn’t see a single foreign car or truck). When I drove from CA to CO in a Porsche 914 in 1980 I would have people asking me what kind of car it was at every gas stop. The same thing happened when I drove a Range Rover from San Francisco to Sun Valley in 1990. I had dozens of people asking me about it and wondering who made it every time I stopped (back home in Marin there would be a few in every big parking lot). It would not surprise me to find out that in 2024 not even a single Porsche, Land Rover or Tesla has ever been registered within 100 miles of Jackpot, NV

        • SpencerG says:

          David S: I saw a Rivian a couple of months back. I work at a casino so sometimes you will see truly exotic cars… but not often. Teslas (currently) fit that rarity.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          SpencerG,

          You must live in a bog. Don’t draw conclusion from there to the rest of the US. Maybe you need to move to Texas, where you’ll see plenty of Teslas.

          In 2023, Tesla sold about 650,000 vehicles in the US, as many as BMW and Mercedes Benz combined, or about half as many as Honda. So did you see any Hondas, BMWs, and MBs?

        • Trucker Guy says:

          I’ve been coast to coast across the US more times than I can remember and unless you live in and never leave Ranchester, Wyoming; I don’t believe for a second that a Tesla is some exotic sight.

          Either you never go outside or you’re oblivious. Or lying to promote this weird anti-EV narrative a ton of people randomly have.

          Seeing a McLaren in LA (Lower Alabama) would be rare. Not a Tesla. I’ve seen more cyber trucks on the road than what you’re claiming.

        • brad says:

          I live in Southern AZ and I see Tesla models 3 & Y frequently. As I like to tell my wife they are now ubiquitous in our neck of the woods.

        • Sporkfed says:

          I live in nearby Fairhope, AL.
          I see Teslas everyday. Are they
          as numerous as F150s or Toyotas ? Not by a long shot, but
          they are out there in decent numbers. Try driving down 30A
          to see more.

        • Louie says:

          It ain’t just California,

          It is exactly 62 miles to my brother’s house for me. Last week, in that drive, we counted 66 Tesla’s that we met on the road. That’s just over one per mile. The drive was in the western suburbs of Chicago. Illinois that is, not Chicago Ca.

        • SpencerG says:

          I am a bit surprised that my own personal experience stirred up such a hornet’s nest of responses. I don’t have time to answer them all but I will a couple.

          Sporkfed: I can totally believe that you see more of them than I do. Your area of Alabama is primarily wealthy retirees and tourists. Same for the 30A. But while they may be a wealthy family’s second car for tooling around town… I never see them either at my own casino in Biloxi 100 miles away nor at the other casinos even though most of them have charging stations now. Even people who can afford to gamble aren’t bringing them on road trips over here. Yesterday I saw two Chevy Bolts at the charging stations at the Golden Nugget if that helps.

          One Caveat: the owners of these cars may be leaving them with valet attendants so they are being stored in the casino’s protected lots which I cannot view. But that hardly changes my point that Teslas are exceptional vehicles rather than a normal car. By contrast the two Chevy Bolts were parked three spaces down from my Chevy Tahoe.

          Trucker Guy: You mean to tell me that a guy who spends eight hours a day on the highways and byways of America sees more exotic cars (of all types) than a normal guy who considers himself lucky if he can spend only an hour or two a day in his car (driving around town mostly)? “Say it ain’t so Joe.”

          Wolf: Tesla may have sold about 670,000 total in 2023 but almost half of them were sold in the three West Coast states, another 100,000 or so were sold in the two biggest states (physically and demographically) of Texas and Florida, and another 100,000 were sold in somewhat large-ish states like New York, Illinois, Georgia, etc. That doesn’t leave a lot of sales left for the remaining 40 states. Couple that with Tesla’s meagre installed base and yeah… I see a LOT more Hondas, MBs, and BMWs than I do of Teslas, Rivians, etc.

      • CSH says:

        Lol at “rarely see them”. That was true maybe in 2018, although you would see them in upscale neighborhoods — but in 2024? This had to have been a troll.

        • BS ini says:

          And no in Tyler Tx we don’t see Teslas, Range Rovers, and few Lexus. We have a Tesla dealership . My neighbor across the street has had a BMW Eav and traded for a Mercedes EV. I love them both

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Tyler doesn’t have a “Tesla dealership,” it only has a Tesla service center and showroom.

          Texas is one of the few states that has blocked Tesla from selling cars there. So people in Texas can work in the Tesla factory but cannot buy a Tesla at a dealership in Texas because their stupid state-government doesn’t allow them to. Freedom of choice and all that 🤣. The dealer lobby in Texas has the legislature in its pocket, and they don’t want Tesla in their state. They hate competition. They hate giving people the freedom to choose what car they want to buy. They use the state franchise law to keep Tesla from competing with them. Obviously, Texans are pretty smart, and so is Tesla, they know how to get around this by buying their Tesla online and engineering the delivery so it doesn’t count as sale in Texas.

        • Anthony A. says:

          You have a Tesla service center or a showroom, but not a dealership (by definition).

          If you want to BUY a Tesla in Texas, you order it online (like everyone in the U.S. does) and you get a delivery date that could be tomorrow, or a date scheduled in the near future.

          Where I live near Houston, there are two LARGE service centers near me and two SHOWROOMS a few miles away. You can schedule a test drive at the showroom. I’ve been to all locations when I was considering a Tesla, but bought a Chevy Bolt instead.

          It’s pretty easy to BUY a Tesla in Texas….all you do is fill out the online purchase agreement.

  12. fasteddee says:

    When I checked the Hertz website, most of the Tesla’s listed were high milers (like 90K). Apparently they were able to rent them, but not a very strong retail market for high mileage, drive it like you rented it EV’s. Nobody wants to get stuck replacing the batteries.

    • Mitch says:

      The high milers are from their deals with Uber and Lyft.

    • ApartmentInvestor says:

      Hertz partnered with UBER to rent Teslas and I heard some guys were splitting the rentals with one guy driving the early shift and another guy driving the night shift driving the cars 20 hours a day.

  13. Ol' B says:

    “When people step off a plane…”

    Seriously, no kidding. I used to travel a lot for business and you’d get to an airport at 7, get your rental at 8, and check in to the hotel at 9 with the bag of fast food you quickly grabbed in a strange city. Hot shower and HBO. The absolute LAST thing you want is to mess with goofy apps or have some rental car worker demand you listen to a ten minute lecture on how-to for the EV. Good god.

    Maybe Hertz just needs to keep this fleet a lot longer and wring the value out of them. Stop buying new cars – which also takes pressure off prices for the stretched consumer.

    • SpencerG says:

      I was thinking the same thing as your last sentence. Hertz needs to stretch their four year ownership cycle to five or six. Obviously it takes money to do that (repair costs)… but it is like they are feeding money into an industrial furnace right now with the current strategy.

      • Happy Jack says:

        Stretching out their fleet life would be a disaster for them PR wise. They would lose a ton of customers to all of their competitors who didn’t have to stretch out their fleet life.

        Case in point …. I use Budget. Now Budget used to be “Budget” because they had an older fleet and of course their price reflected that. Today it’s much different and the Budget fleet is just as new and shiny as everyone else. … yet they still blow away the competition on pricing.

        • SpencerG says:

          Probably. But right now they are headed to bankruptcy court anyway. You can’t keep eating half billion dollar charges every quarter.

      • Cynical Engineer says:

        Four years? Average rental car is only in the fleet for 7 to 12 months before they get sold off.

        Rental car companies do not want cars in their fleet that are not brand new and still under manufacturer warranty. They do not have the repair infrastructure to keep a fleet of old cars running and in good condition. Buying older cars and keeping them running is a valid business model, but not the one chosen by most of the car rental companies.

        And if you see what people do to those cars, a four-year-old rental car would be a pretty big piece of junk.

    • MM says:

      All the new ICE vehicles are just as bloated with excessive tech. Personally I can’t stand any new vehicles with those giant tablet-like displays sticking out of the dash.

      I just wish I could rent a basic DX trim Civic, but that doesn’t even exist anymore.

      • flea says:

        those giant tablets are part of the surveillance system

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Your smartphone IS the surveillance system.

        • MM says:

          Yup, none of these cars have actual nav systems built in anymore. The screen is just for Apple Carplay or Android Auto and your smartphone is the “brains” of the setup.

          Personally I’ll stick with my flip phone and Garmin GPS. There’s a benefit to having all map data stored locally and not being dependant on Google’s servers for route calculation, imo.

        • Anthony A. says:

          “Your smartphone IS the surveillance system.”

          So is your Ring doorbell camera and Alexa!

        • MM says:

          Yup that’s why none of that smart home crap is allowed in my house. Google and Amazon can pay me for my data if they want it.

        • Happy1 says:

          Man I hate the tablet display and virtual knobs and such. Give me old school dials and buttons. This is why I have an 03 Tacoma and 07 4 Runner

    • Biker says:

      I would not buy Tesla because Musk is an idiot and I don’t trust him. And it is not manual transmission 😂

      • J says:

        Biker,

        I’d argue that Tesla uses the
        most manual of all possible
        transmissions, one speed, no
        clutch, no reverse. It’s really
        the automotive version of a
        “fixie”.

        J
        ———————–
        The four-wheel-drive models
        are a little odder with two
        gear ratios, but still no
        clutches or reverse.

        • Biker says:

          I guess hard to argue that he is not idiot. The king is naked. I’m Asperger case too, I can see him through. Him and trump, ignoring cases like Putin, are the biggest dangers to the human race.

  14. Lili Von Schtupp says:

    Bad press from falsely accusing their customers for stealing their cars can’t be helping their bottom line. I wouldn’t go near them after that mess.

    Watching an interesting YT-er discussing just how bad of shape Ford is in and the horrendous loss they took on the EVs. Yowch.

    • Lili Von Schtupp says:

      I should’ve clarified, how bad of shape retail sales are in. Seems they did OK on fleet sales.

    • MM says:

      I don’t understand why anyone still rents from a company that can’t correctly process their returned vehicles.

      • Paperclip says:

        MM: ‘I don’t understand why anyone still rents from Hertz.’ My reason: The two practical choices here are Hertz and Enterprise. I rented from the latter four or five times, each time making a ‘reservation’ on line the day before. They NEVER had a car available when I showed up at the agreed-upon time. ‘Well, you can wait around, we expect some cars to be returned within the hour.’ I put up with it because this Enterprise site is 100 yds down the road from a repair shop I patronized at the time. I’ve now rented from Hertz three or four times. They have always had a car waiting for me as agreed.

        The possibility of being wrongly accused of grand theft by Hertz is troubling, but the certainty of being jerked around by Enterprise is infuriating.

    • Shiloh1 says:

      Don’t argue with the cop. Sue them (rental company or dealer loaner) and put their liability insurer on notice. If you are falsely jailed for any time at all it will be worth $10,000 minimum.

      • MM says:

        My solution is to never rent from Hurtz. Period.

        Alternatively: record a video of you dropping off the car, and take a bunch of photos too. Also, insist upon reciving a receipt upon dropoff.

        But I’ve also read stories where Customer A returned a rental, then that car was rented to Customer B, but because it wasn’t properly checked in after Customer A, the system reports it stolen, and then Customer B then gets pulled over and arrested.

        Basically, Hurtz will simultaneously report a vehicle stolen /while/ renting out that same vehicle to another customer.

        That’s why the #1 thing you can do is not rent from Hurtz. Take your business elsewhere. I like Avis and National personally.

        • Reluctant Traveler says:

          If I want to spend two extra hours at the airport after flight arrival, I rent from Avis. If I want to get out of the airport as quickly as possible, I rent from Hertz. If I want to stand in long line while other customers decide on the various contract options or argue about the various airport fees they have to pay, then I choose Budget.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Reluctant Traveler,

          I haven’t done any of these in maybe two decades? I go straight to the rental car parking lot, to what is usually a booth, show my ID, sign the contract, get handed the keys, and the # slot where the car is parked. All the other stuff, including payment information, insurance, etc., was entered online while making the reservation.

  15. MM says:

    The WTF section of the stock chart kind of looks like a hand flipping us the bird.

  16. SpencerG says:

    This really ought to be worked up as a Harvard Case Study for the MBA schools. What on earth caused the Hertz board to get this call so very, very wrong? Wolf nailed it as a dodo bird idea right from the jump. Was there NO ONE inside the Hertz Corporation that raised the alarm?

    • SpencerG says:

      LOL… perhaps I have my answer.

      I just re-read the article Wolf wrote back in October 2021 about this plan. In the comments below he pointed out that the same car guru who screwed up Ford as CEO with his EV plan had moved on to be the CEO of Hertz.

      How come I can’t “fail up” like that?

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Hertz fired him last month, and the new guy is doing some housecleaning, that’s in part what we’re seeing here. Standard practice.

  17. Glen says:

    Not even clear what the last CEO, Scherr, was doing. I suppose investment bankers with Princeton and Harvard degrees in non related subjects qualify you. Perhaps just the good old boys club.

  18. kpl says:

    “And values of those vehicles in its fleet have been plunging since then.”
    “It cut prices on new vehicles, over and over again. Other automakers followed and also cut EV prices. ”

    So this is what “dying by a thousand cuts” looks like!

  19. fullbellyemptymind says:

    Clearly Hertz is just another overleveraged zombie with a serious deficiency at CFO. Anybody that was booking residuals at or near wholesale during the last few years deserves a statue in the hall of shame.

    Lease residuals set by the OEM captives in ’21-’23 were absurdly conservative given the prices that equivalent 3 year old units were getting at auction during that era. Turns out this was the right call. There’s still some institutional memory of the post 9-11 correction and the great recession of 08/09.

    Remember when Chrysler and GM (but not Ford) went bankrupt? Much of that was due to residual losses (greatly simplified but true). Remember when GMAC morphed from a captive finance co. to a bank (Ally) so they could access TARP? That was because of residual losses. Remember when banks used to lease vehicles directly to consumers but now they don’t (ex on the margins or via OEM backed pseudo-captives)? That’s because of residual losses.

    This sh*t is toxic if you don’t handle it right and when Hertz, with $9B in annual revenue, doesn’t handle it right it’s negligence, not incompetence. My business lives and dies on understanding used vehicle depreciation, and let me tell you brother, business is a-boomin’. If we can do it with 1/1000th the revenue there’s no excuse for the big boys when they cake their well-creased slacks

    • Nick Kelly says:

      Re: Ford not going bankrupt. That’s because they were almost BK the year before and had to do one last gasp refi. The biz alone could not borrow the money, the land, buildings even the iconic Ford logo was pledged. Since redeemed but not long ago.

      After GM and Ford got their bailout, Ford got some money claiming it wasn’t fair to be competing against gov money.
      Ford got lucky with its timing because there was no way its refi would have flown once the GFC hit.

  20. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MSN: Ford loses $1.3B on electric vehicles as regulators launch probe of Mustang Mach-E

    Ford’s electric vehicle unit is reporting huge losses and now, federal regulators have launched an investigation into the automaker’s hands-free driving technology following two deadly crashes.

  21. Charles Clarke says:

    Part of the problem was rental car companies selling down their inventory in 2020 because they figured fewer folks would rent during the pandemic. Then when there was more demand than expected they were buying at higher prices. Hopefully they come out with an EV convertible soon about the size of an Audi A4 Cabriolet. Audi had a concept car around 2008 that I wish they had put into production.

  22. Anthony says:

    There is one thing with Tesla dropping its prices and that the owners of a Tesla may also see a big drop in second hand values

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Sure. And they don’t care unless they want to sell the vehicle shortly. All vehicle prices drop all the time, but when Tesla does a price cut, they drop faster. Great for buyers of that vehicle. Used vehicle prices spiked 55% in 2020 to early 2022 as part of the huge bout of inflation we had, it was essentially criminal, and it’s time for that price spike to unwind and for vehicle prices to come down hard.

  23. roddy6667 says:

    Hertz might need to change one letter on their sign. Reminds me of an old Mad Magazine article.

  24. Reply says:

    On the ICE side, take a look at how much your local dealer charges for routine maintenance. An oil change in higher cost regions can be around $150, and more for hybrids with the 100% synthetic oil.

    There are plenty of competitors much cheaper, but make sure that you confirm what type of oil they are using. Back in the day, people would ask for Pennzoil. Now they might get stuck with some blend or bulk product. That can have a worse outcome for hybrids.

    Dealers will tell you that shop time has gone up because the old guys retired and they have to pay a lot more for the new guys when they can find them.

    Inflation hits in may areas, before you even get to the parts costs.

    • MM says:

      When I started doing my own fluid flushes, I realized the local shop was overcharging me *and* using the wrong gear oil in my rear diff.

      Local dealership recently charged the spouse $300 to change oil, rear diff fluid, and top off coolant. I told her I could do all of that in a half hour for $50 worth of fluids, most of which I already have.

      • Home toad says:

        Those auto shops, I don’t trust anybody, I don’t know if they tightened the lugs properly…they didn’t, the tire came off on the freeway and took of for another quarter mile without me.
        Any of those oil changer folks. I don’t know who’s under the car, some stoned tweekerzoid, hoping he knows how to tighten up a bolt or what fluid he’s putting in.
        Do it yourself and learn.

  25. sufferinsucatash says:

    Why on earth would you use the term Collision when speaking of cars in an earning call?

  26. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: 2-year Treasury yields rises above 5% after higher labor costs undermine rate-cut theme

  27. SoCalBeachDude says:

    DM: Elon Musk issues brutal email to Tesla staff as he goes ‘absolutely hardcore’ and fires two senior executives, his entire Supercharger team, and moves to lay off hundreds more employees

    Elon Musk sent an email to staff announcing plans to go ‘absolutely hardcore’ with layoffs and revealed he fired executives Rebecca Tinucci (top right) and Daniel Ho (bottom right). The Tesla boss, who sat down with Chinese premier Li Qiang on Sunday promising an imminent roll-out of driverless cars in the country is said to be frustrated by falling sales and the pace of job cuts so far. ‘Hopefully these actions are making it clear that we need to be absolutely hard core about headcount and cost reduction. While some on exec staff are taking this seriously, most are not yet doing so,’ Musk said.

  28. SoCalBeachDude says:

    DM: Pump the brakes! US safety regulator announces HUGE change to all new cars and trucks

    A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule for vehicles sold in the US is designed to drive down roadway deaths – but it will also spark a surge in car prices.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Automatic emergency braking is already a feature in many cars. The rules will just make it standard. Airbags started out the same way.

  29. Nemi5150 says:

    FYI, i never got the email for this article. Probably something on my end, but thought I would let you know in case there is a problem.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I just checked. On my end, you’re OK. The email was sent. So check your spam filter, and if you find it there, you’ve got a problem. Report it as “Not Spam” (if you can) and move it to your inbox, and then open it there. Whitelist wolfstreet.com. That should prevent it from happening again.

  30. Citizen AllenM says:

    After 7 years of running EVs for the extended family, I think Wolf is absolutely spot on regarding the utility of the vehicle, and how much cheaper than IC they are to own and operate. EVs totally win in any city driving competition, and within 150 miles of home. Even with charging, they are now good for reasonable intercity operation. Now for far travel flyover (like the Phoenix Portland commute I have just done twice in two months), the IC still wins, because Nevada is just flipping empty. But I to even watch my gas use on this trip (next services 97 miles!).

    With three BMW I3s, and a newer Volkswagen ID4 experience, I can safely say they work, they are cheap to run, service is just like the rest of it, use a dealership, pay through the nose, but otherwise super cheap. Tires don’t count, because they are consumables.

    The rural, older population on this site is totally biased against them, because they just can’t envision using them new fangled thangs. Look at the evolution of the vehicles, the higher ranges, the cheap luxury aspect is now incredible. The ID4 is so much more than the I3, and costs 20% less new.

    In short, things change, and the circa 2009 Prius experience doesn’t reflect today’s driving and experience.

    • Anthony A. says:

      I’m 80 years old and own a 2024 Chevy Bolt EUV. Some of my friends have EV’s too. We oldsters are not all like you think they are.

      • JS says:

        There is always an exception to every rule, but the majority of rural/older people here on WS are in fact very anti-EV and generally very negative about everything from the economy to younger generations.

        I guess I’ll get my chance one day to be the “get off my lawn” crabby old man and the cycle will repeat.

        • Louie says:

          Socrates was the first old ba$tard that said the young generation was going to hell in a handbasket. Just the nature of some old and loud folks.
          Mid 80s here. Two Tesla family and we support the ideas of the young folks. they have a vision of a better world for all.

  31. Debt-Free-Bubba says:

    Howdy EV Lovers and Haters. Its really about Govern ment picking the winners and losers for US. Some folks could care less what you drive or think about the weather changes. Govern ment loves US divided and arguing while they rape and pillage. If you like your car, you can keep it.
    That s the way its supposed to be………

  32. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: Treasury Sets New Rate of 4.28% for I Bonds as Inflation Ebbs

    Treasury yields finish April with biggest monthly jumps since 2022-2023

    • Wolf Richter says:

      This is formula-based. This six-month period was based on the past six months of CPI, when CPI was low. CPI is now going up, and I-bond rates will be set much higher in six months because CPI is heading back up.

  33. John says:

    I think most people understand operating and EV just fine or could quickly learn, they just dont want to deal with the hassle and uncertainty of charging on vacation or a business trip.

  34. Eastwind says:

    “Turns out, there’s an EV learning curve. The average rental-car customer has never driven an EV, isn’t familiar with EVs, has no clue about the charging systems, and doesn’t know how to use the Tesla app and Tesla’s route planning system to find charging stations, etc. When people step off a plane, they don’t want to spend hours figuring out how all this stuff works.”

    Right about that! A long time ago, perhaps the very last time I rented from Hertz, I had a business travel flight somewhere and arrived tired and ready for a hotel, and the desk didn’t have what had been reserved (whatever that was, corporate standard) and put me in some kind of a mini-van with a new-fangled keyless ignition. I’d never driven one of those before, and in my exhaustion I couldn’t figure out how to turn the damn thing on. Apparently something more than press the button, hwich was all that was obvious. After about 2 minutes (not more, I had no patience for that kind of hassle at that exhaustion level) I went back to the desk to demand something else. I think I ended up with something smaller than had been reserved, which was just fine.

    So that was just the keyless ignition. Rent me an EV? fuggedaboudid!!

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