I’ll tell you something: Until about two weeks ago, when I landed in a Best Buy parking lot to purchase something I bought later that afternoon from an online retailer, I wasn’t entirely convinced Polestar actually manufactured cars for people to buy. Oh sure; you could drive them, if you were a journalist with the right connections (not that I have driven one). But I’d never actually seen a Polestar in the flesh, despite being repeatedly reminded they were definitely a real thing for two whole years prior.
Well, we can all get used to seeing more Polestars around, as the Volvo-spinoff EV maker says it’s started delivering cars to Hertz, kicking off the beginning of a 65,000-vehicle order that is scheduled to be completed by 2025.
This announcement came Thursday, and while the Swedish automaker isn’t saying how many of its Polestar 2 sedans-with-ground-clearance are in Hertz’s lots, the company is quick to remind us all in its press release that this marks “one of the largest single orders for electric cars ever made.” So too was that Tesla-Hertz deal, if you expand your definition of “largest single orders ever made” to include orders not made.
Something else that sticks out about this news: In the release, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath is quoted as saying the company has delivered 55,000 cars across the 25 markets in which it plays. This order, then, is for 10,000 more Polestars than currently exist in the world.
As it happens, back in January, Ingenlath also confirmed to Automotive News that he’s looking to sell 65,000 cars, total, in 2022. How many of Hertz’s cars will count toward that annual goal? I suppose we’ll find out in Polestar’s year-end earnings report. The rental firm expects to start offering Polestars first in “Seattle, LA, Burbank and Orange County, CA, San Diego, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Miami, Islip, NY, and Newark, NJ,” according to our friends at Engadget.
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As part of the collaboration between the two companies, Hertz will also add some Polestar 1s to its fleet as well — surprising, because that car was discontinued last year. That’s neat!
I look forward to one day driving a Polestar; they look nice and, frankly, the ability to just rent one on a whim (stock notwithstanding) seems like a convenient way to test an electric car in your life before making the jump. I merely ask that Hertz rents out vehicles with color combinations beyond the gray-on-lighter-gray the brand seems to like so much.
DriveItAway Holdings, Inc., a dealer-focused mobility platform, announced the launch of an electric vehicle subscription to ownership program with the Polestar 2. The service allows consumers or fleets to try driving a new luxury EV vehicle before commiting to an outright purchase.
“We found that many people are hesitant to make a commitment to buy a brand new EV,” said John F. Possumato, founder & CEO of DriveItAway. “We designed the program so that anyone can immediately drive a Polestar 2 with no commitment to purchase, in a fast, easy, and inexpensive way with the vehicle subscription managed entirely through our mobile app. Turnkey and complete, our program includes insurance, maintenance, and delivery right to your door.”
Commercial and corporate fleets are encouraged to try out the program. Part of the value for fleets is trying out the EV subscription without interfering with existing lease programs. “With an optional buy out, it’s the best of an open-ended lease, but without the obligation to eat the residual,” Possumato said.
For those that try it and like it, a portion of the subscription fees goes toward the purchase price of the vehicle. The driver has the right, but not the obligation, to buy the vehicle he or she is driving, with the money given back as a bonus coupon.
And since Polestar has a six-month waiting list, fleets can gain immediate access to the vehicles through the DriveItAway program.
It also provides new EV manufacturers and legacy OEMs a new distribution channel for their vehicles, with an “infinite test drive” to a full range of consumers to satisfy a market that is “EV curious” but may not want to make an immediate commitment to purchase, the announcement said.
Elena Ciccotelli, automotive partnerships manager at Lyft, recently chose a new Polestar 2 through the DriveItAway program, and reported finding an additional benefit. “Used car values are sky high right now, so I was eager to sell my used car for top dollar,” Ciccotelli says, “but I didn’t want to buy a new vehicle right now during the car shortage, with limited selection and high prices. I also very much support Lyft’s pledge to be 100% EV by 2030, so I made the commitment that my next vehicle would be EV zero emissions. It’s a great way to get green by going green.”
DriveItAway’s EV subscription program is starting its launch in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area with the Polestar 2, but will soon offer a full range of EVs, including Chevrolet Bolt/Bolt EUVs, Nissan Leafs and even Ford Escape Plug In Hybrids, throughout the United States.
“The future is zero emission vehicles,” Possumato said, “and the future of consumer EV adoption is propelled by a flexible subscription with optional ownership, with the money paid in applied toward the purchase.”
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet