Elon Musk took to Twitter on Monday night to clarify and contradict earlier reports that Hertz had agreed to buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, stating “no contract has been signed yet.” Uber would also benefit since its drivers would gain access to 50% of those vehicles as a part of a proposed deal with Hertz.
The announcement of the deal made Musk the world’s wealthiest living man at almost $300 billion dollars in net worth and caused Tesla to hit a $1 trillion dollar market cap. Initially, reports suggested that Hertz would have these 100,000 electric vehicles by 2022 and certain Uber drivers could rent 50% of those vehicles by 2023, and that number could go up depending on success.
Hertz’s announcement features a picture of seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady next to a Tesla Model 3 electric sedan in a Hertz garage. This announcement would also help both Hertz and Uber reach their goal to reduce their individual carbon footprints as governments around the world seek to mitigate the effects of climate change.
However, according to a tweet from Musk on Monday night in response to Tesla’s stock price rising after hours, “If any of this is based on Hertz, I’d like to emphasize that no contract has been signed yet. Tesla has far more demand than production, therefore we will only sell cars to Hertz for the same margin as to consumers. Hertz deal has zero effect on our economics.”
This contradicts statements from interim Hertz CEO Mark Fields, who indicated Tesla and Hertz started discussions about the deal “many months ago,” according to CNBC.
Musk, who owns 20% of Tesla’s stock, stated that he was surprised how news of the deal affected Tesla’s value so much. Neither Tesla nor Hertz has commented on the implications of Musk’s tweet.