photo by James Coreas

photo by James Coreas for The Advocate

Tesla and Hertz teamed up, and the partnership means Dallas drivers will have first dibs on Tesla Model 3 rentals.

Tesla is synonymous with electric vehicles (an ABC broadcaster just said). True, but also the brand name brings to mind its eccentric CEO Elon Musk, SpaceX and this 2015 story about a state law that prevented Texans from purchasing Teslas and the Preston Hollow renegades who found a loophole.

News of the Hertz deal — wherein the rental company purchased 100,000 battery-powered vehicles — sent Tesla share sales soaring until the car makers momentarily hit the $1 trillion market value cap.

According to Bloomberg, Model 3 sedans will be available to rent in four Dallas locations and a few other markets starting in early November, and eventually Hertz will add other models. Hertz has locations on Ross, Cedar Springs, Mockingbird and Forest Lane, though it is yet uncertain which DFW locations will rent Teslas.

From Dallas, drivers can rent the EV for round trips to San Antonio. For now, one-way rentals will not be available.

Also according to Bloomberg, “autopilot will be enabled, but full-self driving will be disabled on the vehicles.” Hertz is offering free charging through the end of January, and the rental rates will be “similar” to premium and luxury vehicles.

While the deal is good for both companies’ bottom lines and fun for the consumer, a bigger benefit, as NPR pointed out, could be getting more Americans behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.

“It exposes more consumers to EVs [electric vehicles] and Tesla specifically,” an automotive expert told the public radio station. “We know there’s reluctance by people to buy EVs because they have range anxiety … and this is an opportunity for them to get experience with EVs and with Tesla specifically.”

Hertz is putting its money on enthusiastic drivers and growing pressure to switch to EVs to reduce the impact of human-caused climate change.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields said in a statement.

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