It's the hurdle that electric vehicles must clear to be launched into the mainstream: range anxiety. But this time it isn't prospective customers who worry about running out of juice, Bloomberg reports, but renters who return to car rental agencies before their lease is up and trade their EVs in for more traditional gasoline-powered autos and gas-electric hybrids.
If you're headed to the Goms or Haslital regions of the Swiss Alps, then you might want to consider renting a Think City EV for your day trips to the mountain tops and your night-time rendezvous at the local eateries. Think, along with its Swiss distribution partner Migros, has teamed up with Alpmobil, a pioneer in eco-tourism, to bring 60 rental City EVs to tourist hotspots within the Swiss Alp regions mentioned above.
Hey look, another new Renault-Nissan partnership to promote EVs. Today, a new alliance with Europcar was announced that will make electric vehicles available for customer rentals starting in 2010. The car will first be available in Europe (specifically, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom) as well as Australia and New Zealand. Further expansions are already on the drawing board. Europcar says it wants to become the first major rent-a-car company to offer EVs.
EV Rental, a smallish rental agency on the West Coast that rents nothing but hybrids, is doing quite well for itself. EV Rental has 425 hybrids and the cars are rented out 90 percent of the time (compared with 80 to 85 percent for most rental agencies). EV Rental can also charge about $10 more a day than other agencies' comparable non-hybrid vehicles. The company turned a profit last year, and the EV Rental CEO told the Wall Street Journal that this year should be even better. The Journal writes
When you leave home for vacation, it’s getting easier bring your green car ethics with you. Once focused more on southwestern states, the green car rental concept has moved a bit north. The (Oregon) Albany Democrat-Herald reports that Enterprise Rent-A-Car now has five biodiesel vehicles in its Portland fleet. The cars are five Jeep Liberties that will run on B20. The Liberties still use 80-percent standard diesel, so they’re not as impressive as the fleet of Bio-Beetle New Beetles (