Hertz has co-led a £14 million investment in self-service electric vehicle rental and eMobility provider UFODrive.
The investment also included private equity firm Certares in partnership with Knighthead Capital, along with participation from existing shareholders.
UFODrive is an all-digital, all-electric car rental service controlled from an app.
The company says its eMobility software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) tools to aid drivers and fleet operators in the switch to zero emission vehicles.
The partnership builds on Hertz’s announcement in October 2021 that the company is investing in a fleet of Teslas – with a commitment to offer the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America and to grow its EV fleet globally.
Also in October, the company announced an exclusive partnership with Uber to make Tesla electric vehicles available for drivers to rent when using the Uber network.
Hertz senior vice president of strategy, Jayesh Patel, and venture lead at Certares, Chantal Noble Haldorsen, will join the UFODrive board.
Mark Fields, Hertz interim chief executive, said: “Our partnership with UFODrive will pilot ways to make renting an EV even easier using 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.”
Following successful live testing in 2021, Hertz aims to deploy UFODrive’s digital rental and fleet management technology across its global EV fleet operations.
The rollout will start with Hertz’s key partners in the US and Europe, to create a digital rental experience, charge point wayfinding, touchless smartphone access and online customer support with live telematics using UFODrive’s SaaS platform.
UFODRIVE will use the additional capital to accelerate product development and to expand globally, with a focus on the US market.