Car rental firm Hertz to sell 20,000 EVs for gas-powered vehicles

(Reuters) -Rental firm Hertz Global Holdings said on Thursday it would sell about 20,000 electric vehicles from its U.S. fleet due to higher expenses related to collision and damage, and will opt for gas-powered vehicles.

Shares of the company, which operates vehicles from Tesla Inc and Swedish EV maker Polestar among others, fell about 3% at market open.

Hertz had said it would order 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022 and followed that with a decision to buy up to 65,000 units over five years from Polestar.

“Expenses related to collision and damage, primarily associated with EVs, remained high in the quarter…,” Hertz said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The company had previously set a target for 25% of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024.

Hertz expects about $245 million of incremental depreciation expenses from the proposed sale in the fourth quarter of 2023 and warned of a hit to adjusted corporate core profit for the period.

The company said it would continue to focus on improving profitability for the remainder of its EV fleet.

Hertz’s used car website lists more than 700 EVs on sale including BMW’s i3, Chevrolet’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y SUVs.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Sriraj Kalluvila)