Rental Company Sixt Will Begin Dumping Tesla Fleet Due To Repair Costs

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Tesla dramatically dropping the retail prices of its electric vehicles has perhaps been a boon for some of its customers, but the fleet buyers have found the move a bit unnerving. Following the news that Hertz would slow its purchases from Tesla, German competitor Sixt is going a step further, discontinuing purchases of Tesla EVs and selling off the Teslas it does have. According to the report from Bloomberg, the bright orange rental company is showing major losses on its EV rental program this year simply because of the tanking residual values of its held stock of cars.

While Hertz is taking a step back from electric cars altogether, Sixt is directly singling out Tesla here, as it continues to increase its electric fleet. The company’s goal is to slowly replace its gasoline and diesel-powered cars until at least 90 percent of its fleet is electric, and it aims to do so by the end of this decade. Unless Tesla improves its quality, collision repair costs, and residual values, the second-largest rental fleet in Europe (and fourth-largest in the U.S.) won’t include cars from the American automaker.

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In the battle for EV fleet supremacy, Sixt is ditching its Tesla fleet in favor of the less expensive and easier to repair Chinese vehicles from BYD. The entire Sixt fleet totals around a quarter of a million automobiles in 100 countries, and the company has committed to buy at least 100,000 BYD electric cars. Sixt was the first rental company to contract with BYD in Europe, and the experiment seems to have paid off.

Image: Sixt

I suppose the good news is that if you’re looking for a deal on a used Tesla, you can probably buy a former rental car for a song. On second thought, I’m not so sure that’s a financially sound idea.