As part of its commitment to the future of mobility, Hertz announced an investment in electric vehicle rental app provider UFODrive on Feb. 15.
UFODrive offers an e-mobility SaaS platform that encourages both customers and fleets to transition to electric using its AI tools. The company says its technology delivers a two-minute "arrive and drive" digital EV customer experience.
The partnership builds on Hertz’s October 2021 EV investment announcement and a goal to offer the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America. That same month, Hertz announced an exclusive partnership with Uber to make Tesla electric vehicles available for drivers to rent.
UFODrive’s Series A financing round was co-led by Hertz and Certares, in partnership with Knighthead Capital Management, and included participation from existing investors, a company news release said. Hertz Senior Vice President of Strategy, Jayesh Patel, and Venture Lead at Certares, Chantal Noble Haldorsen, will join the UFODrive board.
“Our partnership with UFODrive is yet another major step in Hertz becoming an essential component of the modern mobility ecosystem,” said Mark Fields, Hertz interim CEO. “Together, we will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using UFODRIVE’s digital platforms for both the rental experience and fleet management. For customers, this partnership will help us create the future rental car experience that is all-digital and EV-centric.”
“Born from a vision to deliver what we call ‘Radically Better Car Rental,’ this investment is a major validation of that dream,” said Aidan McClean, UFODrive CEO. “We are proud that we are helping to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions mobility, and our investors see the opportunity ahead. We pioneered and are now the premier operating system for electric fleets and already service a growing list of high-profile mobility companies.”
Hertz plans to deploy UFODrive's rental and fleet management technology to enhance its global EV fleet operations. Starting with key partners in the U.S. and Europe, Hertz said this will offer a fully digital rental experience, charge point wayfinding, touchless smartphone access, and online customer support with live telematics using UFODrive's platform.
UFODrive plans to use the additional capital to accelerate product development and to expand globally, with a focus on the U.S. market.