Tesla shares surge. | JUSTIN LANE

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Tesla Inc today it neared $1 trillion in market capitalization as the company founded by Elon Musk received its biggest-ever order from Hertz, which announced plans to buy 100,000 electric rental cars.

Tesla shares opened up 4.5% at $950.53, a new record high, following the order. Shares were also buoyed by news of the company's Model 3 becoming the first electric vehicle to top monthly sales of new cars in Europe.

The news from Hertz comes as Tesla is coping with a backlog of unfulfilled orders for its vehicles and continuing supply chain disruptions, but it does solidify the mainstream appeal of electric cars.

Interim Hertz Chief Executive Mark Fields in an interview told Reuters the order, delivered by the end of 2022, will primarily be Model 3 vehicles. Tesla vehicles will start being available at Hertz rental facilities in November.