Tesla ditched by SIXT in favor of 250K Stellantis cars

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By Dan Sears

Car rental giant SIXT announced plans to buy as many as 250,000 Stellantis electric vehicles — a month after informing customers that it was dropping Teslas from its EV fleet.

SIXT said this week that it came to a “multi-billion euro agreement” with Stellantis, with plans to add an array of the automaker’s cars — including Jeeps, Chryslers, Dodges, Alfa Romeos and Maseratis, among others — to its rental fleet across Europe and North America by 2026.

The Stellantis vehicles will be a mix of combustion-engine, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric, according to a press release on the agreement.

The company did not disclose the exact financial terms of the deal.

SIXT said this week that it still aims for EVs to make up 70% to 90% of its offerings in Europe by 2030, while Stellantis is aiming for the battery-powered vehicles to make up 50% of its passenger car and light-duty truck sales in the US by the same year, per the press release.

But last month, SIXT told customers in an email obtained by Bloomberg that it wouldn’t be meeting its EV goals with the help of Teslas. Rather, it would be phasing the Elon Musk-owned cars out of its fleet, citing manufacturer’s aggressive price cuts that hurt residuals.

SIXT said this week that it came to a “multi-billion euro agreement” with Stellantis, with plans to add an array of the automaker’s cars — including Jeeps, Chryslers and Dodges — to its rental fleet within the next two years. Björn Wylezich – stock.adobe.com

The issue has been exasperated by Tesla’s high repair costs in comparison to their gas-powered counterparts, said SIXT, Europe’s largest car-rental firm, per Bloomberg.

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A spokesperson for Sixt insisted to the outlet that its Stellantis order is unrelated to the company’s decision to sell its Teslas.

The Post has sought comment from Sixt.

A spokesperson for Stellantis declined to comment beyond the press release.

US-based rental rival Hertz also said this month that it would be scrapping about 2,000 of its EVs about 80% of which were Teslas — also because of the high costs associated with repairing the fleet.

As early as this week, Hertz was offering Tesla Model 3s on its website for as little as $18,000, Bloomberg reported.

The rate marks a nearly 50% discount from the $35,000 price tag the Model 3 boasts on Tesla’s website — an indication of of how much the Austin-based manufacturer’s cars depreciate in value.

Recent data from insights firm LexisNexis Risk Solutions found that drivers pay out about 14.5% more for insurance claims when they switch from a gas-powered car to an electric one like a Tesla — which make up the majority of EV sales in the US.

Stellantis has said it wants its battery-powered vehicles to make up 50% of its passenger car and light-duty truck sales in the US by the end of the decade. Getty Images

EVs involved in a crash result in a high repair bill because of their complex features, such as safety sensors in bumpers, which may seem like a luxurious perk when driving but is a costly fix even when it has a minor dent.

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LexisNexis also found that EVs are more likely to be involved in an accident, with the frequency of insurance claims rising 14.3% for drivers who ditch their gas-powered car for an electric one.

The uptick in insurance claims is the highest during the first year after drivers make the switch to an EV, per LexisNexis’ findings, which were first reported by CNN Business.

It found that though crashes were common in the first year of switching from battery to gas, accidents surged in households with both a gas and an electric model — indicating that regularly switching from one to another compounds the issue.

Though LexisNexis didn’t point to a specific EV feature that causes a crash, there are some key differences between a Tesla and the typical gas-powered vehicle: Teslas, for example, turn on and are ready to drive as soon as a person sits in the drivers seat.

Similarly, when the driver gets out, the high-tech vehicle turns itself off.

And since the cars are fully electric, there’s no engine rev or vibration when a Tesla turns on, making it difficult to discern whether the vehicle is ready to drive or not.

SIXT said last month that it was phasing out its Tesla offerings, citing manufacturer’s aggressive price cuts that hurt residuals — part of the reason Hertz also recently decided to sell of its EVs, 80% of which are Teslas. AFP via Getty Images

Also, Teslas can accelerate at a much faster rate than their gas-powered counterparts.

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Tesla’s Model 3, for example, can reportedly go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds, while the BMW 330i takes more than a second longer to reach that speed.

It could also be difficult for drivers to get used to EVs so-called “one-pedal driving” feature, which slows the car rapidly when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal rather than simply allowing it to coast, like in a gas-powered car.

Getting used to using just one pedal for both starting and stopping can lead to confusion in emergency situations when a quick slam on the actual brake pedal is needed, CNN reported.

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