But, even with this extensive rollout of electric vehicles in the works, Enterprise Holdings chief executive officer, Andrew Taylor, claims the transition to plug-in vehicles "is – and should remain – an evolutionary process." What Taylor means is that electric vehicles should only be rolled out in a pragmatic and market-driven way that's supported by the necessary infrastructure and appropriate public policies. As Taylor says, "Given the economic and national security benefits of reducing the nation's dependence on oil, there is a need to put as many electric vehicles into the marketplace as possible while still addressing the driving requirements of the American public." Taylor stresses that of utmost importance is "keeping passenger vehicles – and the fuels required to power them – economically viable and acceptable to society." Meaning that if plug-in vehicles are too expensive, or if a sufficient charging infrastructure doesn't exist, then electric vehicles won't be deemed acceptable by the public.
[Source: Enterprise Holdings]
"Given the economic and national security benefits of reducing the nation's dependence on oil, there is a need to put as many EVs into the marketplace as possible while still addressing the driving requirements of the American public"
ST. LOUIS – July 13, 2011 – Andrew C. Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Holdings, which is implementing the nation's largest electric vehicle (EV) rental rollout, will be one of the leading voices from the business sector at today's National Summit on Energy Security in Washington, D.C. "When it comes to bringing alternative-powered vehicles to the mass market, the car rental industry is a critical link in the transportation value chain," said Taylor, whose family owns the flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand as well as Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental.
"Every year, the car rental industry puts 1.6 million vehicles on the road in this country," stated Taylor, recently named by Automotive News magazine as one of the "Electrifying 100" key players driving vehicle electrification. "And our industry's future depends on keeping passenger vehicles – and the fuels required to power them – economically viable and acceptable to society."
Nation's largest EV rental rollout
Enterprise – the first car rental company in the U.S. to offer the extended-range electric Chevy Volt – already has introduced EVs in Southern California, Texas, Tennessee, Hawaii and New York. Last month, the company also launched a 12-month EV pilot, involving eight Peugeot iOn cars and 11 charging stations, in London. Furthermore, Taylor is announcing the expansion of his company's EV program in Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Even more electric vehicles – including Chevy Volts, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, Peugeot iOns and 500 Nissan LEAFs – will be added in several new markets through Enterprise's neighborhood locations, local business rental programs and WeCar car-sharing.
However, Taylor stresses that electric vehicles can only be rolled out in a pragmatic and market-driven solution supported by the necessary infrastructure and appropriate public policies. "Given the economic and national security benefits of reducing the nation's dependence on oil, there is a need to put as many EVs into the marketplace as possible while still addressing the driving requirements of the American public," he explains. "This transition is – and should remain – an evolutionary process."
With annual revenues expected to exceed $13 billion in the current fiscal year, and more than 68,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings is the most comprehensive service provider company in the car rental industry. Through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise also owns and operates more than 1 million cars and trucks, making it the largest car rental company in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet. This leadership position in the car rental, automotive and travel industries provides Taylor and his team a unique perspective and strategic insight into long-term transportation, energy and public-policy issues.
Sustainable neighborhood network
Today, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car network includes more than 5,500 branch offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, more than twice as many locations as its nearest competitor. As a result, Enterprise is uniquely positioned to help millions of consumers try new, fuel-efficient models and new technologies like EVs.
"This is a chance for our customers to rent the future today, whether it be for a test drive, fuel-efficient rental or just out of curiosity," said Lee Broughton, head of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. "By leveraging our large network of Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood locations, we can connect drivers with electric vehicle technology right where they live and work."
Enterprise's focus on sustainable vehicle technology led it to join the Electrification Coalition in 2010 and the U.S. Department of Energy's "Clean Cities" National Clean Fleets Partnership this year. Enterprise Holdings also is investing heavily in alternative vehicle and fuel technology, from using biodiesel in airport shuttle buses to dedicating $25 million to establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at one of the nation's leading research institutes, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
In addition, Enterprise is taking steps to operate its business more sustainably – from cutting energy use and related costs by 20 percent each over the next five years, saving an anticipated $50 million; to integrating renewable energy sources in its operations; to investing $150 million in sustainable construction.
The National Summit on Energy Security – organized by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), the Electrification Coalition, Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) and the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security – is bringing together CEOs, military leaders and policymakers to address the intensifying threats posed by our nation's dependence on petroleum. In addition, Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News and co-host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, will be moderating a CEO Forum Luncheon with Taylor and Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation and co-chair of the ESLC.
"This event represents a strategic opportunity to broaden the discussion about energy security and its impact on the American economy," said Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of the Electrification Coalition, which is helping to host the National Summit on Energy Security. "Because Enterprise owns more vehicles than anyone else – and is adopting alternative technologies and fuels – the company's point of view is critical for establishing a national energy policy."
About Enterprise Holdings
Founded in 1957 and headquartered in St. Louis, Enterprise Holdings is ranked No. 17 on the Forbes "Top 500 Private Companies in America" list and is the only investment-grade company in the car rental industry. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offer business and retail customers a total transportation solution, which includes hourly rental, car leasing, WeCar car sharing and Enterprise Rideshare vanpooling programs, as well as the Enterprise Car Sales, Enterprise Commercial Trucks and Enterprise Fleet Management business lines. In addition, Enterprise Holdings is part of a global strategic alliance with Europcar, creating the world's largest car rental network.
The company's Alamo, Enterprise and National brands – which swept Executive Travel magazine's 2011 "Leading Edge Awards" for car rental – collectively lead with more than one-third of all airport business in the United States and Canada. Further, Enterprise has ranked "Highest in Rental Car Customer Satisfaction" among North American airport rentals for the last seven years in a row, according to the 2004-2010 J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Studies. For more information about Enterprise Holdings, visit www.enterpriseholdings.com. For more information about Enterprise Holdings' environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.DrivingFutures.com and follow @LeeBroughton on Twitter.