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EV slump, Hertz fire sale take used Teslas to 'no haggle' $25,000 price

The race to the $25,000 EV in the U.S. car market has been won, but not in the way the auto industry wanted.

Since January, Hertz Global Holdings has been in Tesla sales mode, with 20,000 electric vehicles from its global fleet, representing nearly a third of the rental-car company's existing EV inventory, on the dealer lot. The move, viewed as a stumble in Hertz's EV strategy — in 2021, it heralded plans to order hundreds of thousands of Teslas, Polestars and battery-electric GM models — also reflects a sobering up of the electrification hype within the U.S. auto industry, which has run into a consumer in 2024 spurning at least the expected pace of the transition away from gas-powered cars.

While EV sales in the U.S. more than quadrupled from 2020 to 2023, and now account for more than 9% of total light-duty vehicle sales, the pace of growth has slowed and automakers are focusing more on selling hybrids. Yet the eventual transition to EVs remains inevitable, as sticker prices become more in line with those of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles — something the sales slump is making happen even faster as auto companies attempt to move EVs — battery technology improves driving range and the charging infrastructure expands. And there is the overarching imperative to reduce the tons of climate-changing carbon emissions that cars and trucks produce.

Considering all that, now might be a good time to buy one of Hertz's used Teslas through its long-established Hertz Car Sales division, in business since 1977 and operating about 70 locations across the country. Although as with buying any used car — from manufacturers and independent dealers, online marketplaces or private owners — there are pros and cons.

On the plus side,