BYD Atto 3. Photo by Deriq Bernard Tribdino.

BYD Scores Big Rental Deal

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At CleanTechnica, we’ve covered a number of deals between EV manufacturers and rental car companies. And, there’s a reason these stories are so important.

I don’t know about you, but I know that when I rent a car it can kind of be fun to try something new without getting into a long-term commitment. Even a cheap economy car can be a fun and novel experience…for a few days. At that point, if the car wasn’t great, you’ll probably be glad to go back to your normal car, kind of like getting back to your own bed at the end of a vacation (even if you miss the hotel/resort). But, if it’s a great car, you might start thinking about getting your own and putting one in your driveway long-term.

The fact is, these partnerships not only give the manufacturer a chance to sell a bunch of vehicles, but also puts a lot of butts in seats. Not everyone is going to want to switch to an EV, but many people will like it and want their own. Now, BYD is getting in on the rental action.

BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, has partnered with SIXT, an international car rental company, for the European market. The agreement marks the beginning of a long-term partnership with a shared vision to help accelerate electric mobility adoption. The first pure-electric BYDs will be available to customers in Q4 2022 this year.

SIXT and BYD are committed to reducing carbon emissions through electric cars. This cooperation starts with an initial order from SIXT for several thousands of pure-electric BYD cars, with the first deliveries occurring in Q4 2022. Further, it is anticipated that SIXT will supplement this preliminary order by 100,000 additional BYD electric vehicles over six years.

For more than ten years, BYD Europe has been a front-runner in zero-emission public transportation. Through its partnership with SIXT, it is now bringing green solutions to the car rental market too. With over a decade of experience and many sustainable projects under its belt, BYD will help support SIXT’s goal of having 70% to 90% of its fleet electrified by 2030.

Out of SIXT’s 2,100 branches in 100 countries, the first customers to experience BYD cars will be located in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK. As a leading international mobility provider with an array of premium services — such as car rental, car sharing and ride hailing — it’s an exciting chance to get new customers.

“Cooperations are a core part of the BYD business strategy. We are delighted to start our cooperation with SIXT, the car rental company with the world’s fastest-growing brand value, and a very important key partner to BYD as we take our first steps into the rental market,” said Michael Shu, General Manager and Managing Director, BYD Europe and International Cooperation Division. “Our shared vision allows us to build our green dreams together, initially starting in Europe. We aim to inspire SIXT customers with our latest products and innovations in EV technology. These are exciting times for BYD, as our market leading solutions provide greater access, and more options for electric mobility. We look forward to a long and flourishing partnership with SIXT.”

SIXT will offer customers a range of high-tech BYD pure-electric cars, starting with the ATTO 3 SUV. All models are well-suited to the expectations and needs of European customers, with a premium feel and extensive specifications.

BYD has been developing power batteries for over two decades, including the ground-breaking Blade Battery. BYD says its excellence does not stop at electric vehicles; the company is also knowledgeable about energy management and charging infrastructure. This places BYD in a special position to provide complete solutions for e-mobility. As the partnership with SIXT strengthens, both companies will look into more ways they can work together sustainably in different areas of the globe.

“SIXT offers easy-to-use, flexible, and limitless mobility to its customers every day. With over one million units produced from January to August 2022, BYD is the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer in the area of eMobility,” said Vinzenz Pflanz, Chief Business Officer responsible for sales and vehicle purchase, SIXT SE. “The agreement with BYD is an important milestone to deliver on our promise of putting significantly more e-cars onto the street. We are very much looking forward to our cooperation with BYD.”

Putting This In Perspective

As I pointed out earlier, this isn’t the first car rental deal, and because they can be so good for a manufacturer, it probably won’t be the last.

We’ve reported on Hertz several times, with it doing deals with Tesla, as well as Polestar and GM. In GM’s case (the most recent one I’m aware of), Hertz and GM stated that the former plans to order 175,000 EVs from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and BrightDrop over the next 5 years. This is among the largest expansions of EV fleets by customers and covers SUVs to pickups luxury vehicles and more.

The agreement, which lasts until 2027, will allow Hertz to receive an increased delivery of electric vehicles from GM. This switch to EVs is expected to save 1.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions compared to gasoline-powered cars over the course of the agreement — this amounts to 8 billion miles traveled by customers in EVs.

Rentals for personal use aren’t the only thing we’ve seen.

After a successful pilot program in Reading, Pennsylvania, Penske has decided to purchase 750 Ford E-Transit battery-electric vans. The first batch of vehicles will be available to customers in Southern California, with other US locations being phased in throughout the year.

Sunbelt Rentals, a construction equipment rental company, has also been buying EVs. It ordered 700 Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks earlier this year. Although it seems that none of these trucks will be available for rent to Sunbelt’s customers, we must remember that Sunbelt has a very varied business. In addition to the popular day rentals many contractors and hobbyists take advantage of, it also offers long-term rentals and even equipment sales with service plans — for which it needs trucks. When a trusted provider of tools and machines shows up in an electric truck, many professionals will see that electric trucks have truly arrived.

Eventually, EV rentals will be normal, but for now, they’re an interesting thing to follow because we get to see who’s about to find some new buyers.

Featured image provided by BYD.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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