Electric vehicle makers like Nissan and Renault have long preached that giving more people the chance to drive a plug-in is key to spurring EV sales. Now, a UK report says that the best was to make this happen is to get more EVs into the rental market.

UK's Royal Automobile Club (RAC) Foundation and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) said in its 16-page study that high costs and limited recharging infrastructure are (yes, again) the key hurdles to getting prospective buyers to acquire EVs. With that in mind, the most affordable way to give the public the chance to rent – and thus drive – EVs is through rental companies that can better afford them.

"One of the biggest barriers to electric vehicle uptake by private individuals is that of cost, particularly high upfront purchase costs," the study says. "Research suggests that there is a great match between the car rental market and potential electric vehicle buyers/users, supporting the argument that offering these vehicles on a pay-as-you-go basis could increase their use and visibility." You can browse the 16-page RAC/BVRLA study here (PDF).

As it is, the UK government appears to be looking for its own ways to spur EV sales in order to reduce pollution in cities such as London. Last month, UK-based This Is Money reports that the UK may no longer exempt small-engined diesel vehicles from London's congestion fees, leaving only plug-in vehicles below the emissions threshold required for free city motoring.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 1 Day Ago
      Electric vehicle makers like Nissan and Renault have long preached that giving more people the chance to drive a plug-in is key to spurring EV sales. Now, a UK report says that the best was to make this happen is to get more EVs into the rental market.
      Aaron
      • 1 Day Ago
      I agree with this sentiment. When a Dodge Ram decided to drive into the door of my Mazda 3, I was given a Toyota Prius as a rental. Under normal conditions, the Prius wouldn't even be on my new-car radar. However, after driving it for 3 weeks, and learning that the Sport mode made it drive like a "real" car, it wasn't half bad. I think the same thing would happen if people were given the opportunity to drive electric vehicles. They will see they are truly real vehicles, not "golf carts" as some commenters like to say.
      Spec
      • 1 Day Ago
      I don't know if that is really a good idea. If you rent a car then where are you going to charge it? Owners of EVs charge at home. Renters will be struggling to figure out where to charge up.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Spec
        When someone rents a car, they know beforehand EXACTLY where they are going. This allows people to plan whether they will need a recharge at all. Most likely, not everyone who rents will choose an EV, but those who know they are only going short distances, will not need to hesitate, and love the experience.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Spec
        I suspect if a particular rental agency location were large enough it could have one EV on hand for those curious about EVs and want to try before buying. Such a renter could still charge at home on 110v and of course public chargers.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          The UK has 240 volt as standard home supply.