Car rental firm, Sixt, is discussing the purchase of 100 000 electric vehicles (EVs) from Chinese car firm BYD. The news comes off the heels of BYD’s European expansion.
Sixt joins a slew of car hire companies looking to electrify their fleets by the end of the decade.
Sixt, a German-based mobility service provider which operates in more than 100 countries, will take an initial shipment of several thousand EVs this year, increasing numbers over time into 2028.
Sixt indicated it would deploy the BYD EVs in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK, in a statement issued in early October. The firm did not specify when it would expand its EV fleet to other continents.
US-based competitor, Hertz, recently announced it would electrify its fleet, intending to purchase an estimated 175 000 General Motors EVs by 2027 (it has committed to electrifying a quarter of its global fleet with Polestars and Teslas by 2024).
Sixt, the Pullach-headquartered company, has the fastest-growing value of any rental company, and BYD considers the partnership critical to their European and global expansion aspirations, explained Michael Shu, general manager and managing director for BYD Europe and the International Cooperation division.
Sixt will first acquire the BYD Atto Model 3, a fully electric SUV. Each model will come standard with the Blade Battery, the Warren Buffett-backed state-of-the-art power unit, with a range of 400 kilometres between charges.
The purchase of the Atto 3s agrees with Sixt’s target of substantially electrifying its fleet going forward. The rental giant intends that between 70% and 90% of its vehicles in Europe will be fully electric by 2030.
The Atto 3 will be the first Chinese model in Sixt’s EV inventory, which includes Teslas, Audis, BMW and Renault.
BYD’s push into the European market began in 2020 with Norway’s purchase of the BYD Tang SUV.
Recently the EV giant released a presale price list for its European customers. The catalogue includes the Tang and Atto 3 SUVs, as well as the Han, a five-door family sedan.
Pricing starts at $38 000 for the Atto 3 and rises to $72 000 for the SUVs, according to EV publication, Electrek.
BYD, which stands for “Build your Dreams”, says it will prioritise orders from Norway, Denmark, Germany, Luxemburg, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, but assured French and British customers their orders would be fulfilled towards year end.