How Tesla–Hertz deal may help make electric cars mainstream

This week, Hertz announced it will purchase 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla. It will be the largest rental fleet of electric vehicles in North America and it marks another step towards electric vehicles becoming more and more mainstream.

Journalist Michelle Lewis, who covers electric cars and clean energy for Electrek, said the deal marks a big moment for the growth of electric vehicles. 

"It's not just the fact that that was the single largest order of electric cars from one buyer — in 2019 Amazon bought 100,000 Rivian electric vans for delivery — but you also have to think about the fact that that's not 100,000 owners," Lewis said. "Those are 100,000 electric cars that are going to be driven by people who are renting them." 

She said those rentals will increase the public's awareness about electric cars. 

"It's going to educate and it's going to really expose people," Lewis said. "It's going to make the Tesla Model 3s, which they're going to use, available to everybody to try out."

RELATED: Hertz orders 100,000 Tesla cars

Each Tesla Model 3 has a base price of $40,000, so the deal is estimated to be worth roughly $4 billion. 

The Associated Press is reporting the Teslas are already arriving at Hertz locations and are expected to be available for rental starting in November. The rental rates for the Tesla cars are not yet known.

For a fee, renters can use Tesla's charging stations. And Hertz will also create its own vehicle charging network.

The deal, which will feature an ad campaign starring seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, also puts pressure on other rental giants to follow suit in order to help reduce emissions.

"When you see the private sector pushing in the same direction as the public sector, every step forward is a victory," Lewis said. "It's a victory to take care of our planet."

Apparently helping the environment pays off. News of the deal triggered a huge spike in Tesla's stock, which soared nearly 13%, driving the carmaker's market value over the $1 trillion mark for the first time. 

The wealth of CEO Elon Musk, already the richest person in the world, grew by 11.4% to almost $256 billion, according to Forbes.