Tesla, GM score biggest share of $1.2 billion EV order from startup Autonomy

Tesla charging station Source: Chase Lewis/Upsplash

Tesla, GM, Volkswagen and Ford are among the automakers set to get big orders from Autonomy, a startup offering drivers the option of subscribing to an electric vehicle instead of buying one outright.

Autonomy plans to announce Tuesday that it’s ordering nearly 23,000 EVs from 17 different automakers for a total outlay of $1.2 billion. With chip shortages limiting production capacity at most automakers, it’s unclear how soon such a fleet could be amassed. The order represents 1.2 per cent of the projected US electric vehicle production through the end of next year.

Some deliveries won’t begin until the fourth quarter or early 2023, Scott Painter, Autonomy’s founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. The Santa Monica, California-based company launched its subscription service in January and currently has 1,000 cars – all of which are Tesla models. 

“This 23,000 order is really about diversifying away from Tesla and getting into everything at different price points,” said Painter, who is best known for founding auto-pricing company TrueCar Inc.

Tesla Inc., the market leader in battery-powered cars, is expected to account for 8,300 vehicles worth $443 million, according to the company. Autonomy plans to order 3,400 Bolt EVs and EUVs from General Motors Co., 2,200 vehicles from Volkswagen AG, 1,800 from Ford Motor Co., and 1,640 units from Hyundai Motor Co. It will also buy from newer players such as Lucid Group Inc. and Rivian Automotive Inc. 

Hertz Global Holdings Inc.’s blockbuster announcement last year of plans to buy 100,000 Tesla vehicles paved the way for more fleet deals involving EVs as automakers ramp up production. Tesla models are now available for retail rentals with Hertz in more than 30 markets in the US. More locations are expected in the coming months. 

Hertz has also entered into a partnership with Polestar earlier this year that includes purchasing as many as 65,000 EVS over the next five years. 

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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