By John Addison (1/6/11)
Thousands of Potential Locations for EV and PEV Car Rental and Car Share
Enterprise Rent-A-Car picked the perfect place to start renting the Chevrolet Volt. It is right in the middle of Southern California’s hot electric car market at the Mark Christopher Auto Center in Ontario, California. Daily people test drive hundreds of Chevrolet, Cadillac, and other GM cars. Rentals at car dealerships are ideal for letting people drive EVs in real world conditions.
This will be the first Chevrolet Volt available for daily and weekly rentals. Later this month the Volt will be available in Ontario, along with a new charging station. One hour away, Enterprise is currently renting its first Nissan Leaf in Carson, California.
Enterprise is just getting started and plans to leverage its network of more than 6,000 rental locations throughout the United States to connect customers with EV technology. Enterprise is also installing charging stations at select nationwide locations where the EVs will be available so customers can learn about the EV charging process. More than 5,000 of these Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population. As Enterprise Rent-A-Car continues to add EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles throughout its network, more customers will have an opportunity to try the new technology for consideration of purchase, out of curiosity, or to choose an environmentally friendly car rental option. It also gives customers a chance to learn more about the charging process.
“Purchase demand for electric vehicles has been impressive, and we anticipate similar demand from rental customers,” said Jeff Morrell, vice president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Making the Volt available will provide an extended test drive for curious customers, for those with cars being serviced and for those interested in possibly purchasing an EV.”
Enterprise Stays Ahead of Hertz and Zipcar
Additional EVs will be offered at other Enterprise locations as manufacturers make them available. For example, 500 Nissan LEAFs will be available at select Enterprise locations nationwide, and on-site charging stations will be installed to support the vehicles. Charging stations already have been installed at Enterprise offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Monica, Calif.
“EVs can be charged using a standard 110-volt home outlet, or a 220-volt home or public charger, or 480-volt commercial “fast” charging station,” states Enterprise. Most pure battery-electric cars, like the Nissan Leaf, can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, accommodating the travel habits of the daily commuter, who drives an average of approximately 40 miles a day. However, an extended-range EV like the Volt can travel further due to an on-board gas-powered generator.
Enterprise also competes with Zipcar and other car sharing services with WeCar, which has locations in 17 states. WeCar offers cars by the hour university students, individuals, and fleets that do not want to own all of their cars. Google has 11 WeCar Priuses that are converted to be plug-in hybrids. WeCar will offer more plug-in vehicles. Part of the growth is driven by corporate, university, and government fleets. Enterprise Holdings also owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands.