Enterprise Rent-a Car, Hertz and Avis have all revealed plans to offer plug-in vehicle rentals to the public. Hertz and Enterprise signed deals to offer the Nissan Leaf and Avis agreed to a two-car pact with Renault. More recently, Enterprise added the Coda Sedan to its list of upcoming available plug-in vehicles and, according to the rental agency's latest release, it will soon offer customers the opportunity to rent – by the day or even for an entire week – the Chevrolet Volt.
Enterprise will apparently be the first car rental agency to place Volts on its lots. By the end of this month, the Volt will be available at Enterprise's Mark Christopher Auto Center (MCAC) in Ontario, CA. In preparation for the plug-ins' arrival, Enterprise will install a charging station at the MCAC site. At this time, there's no word on rental rates, but we'd have to assume that, regardless of cost, the lone Volt will be in high demand and that reservations will probably be required far in advance.
[Source: Enterprise Holdings]
Enterprise Rent-A-Car To Offer Chevrolet Volt
Enterprise Continues to Provide Opportunities to Test Drive New EV Technology
Jan. 6, 2011 (St. Louis)– Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced today that it will be the first to offer Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicles (EVs) for daily and weekly rentals later this month. The Volt vehicles – the "2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year®" – will be available at the Mark Christopher Auto Center in Ontario, Calif., along with a new charging station.
There are more than 5,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood and airport offices, including the Mark Christopher Auto Center site, 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."
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. Most EVs 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.
"By embracing new, clean fuel and engine technologies like electric vehicles, Enterprise can help the passenger vehicle remain relevant by giving alternatives a chance to become commercially successful," said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, along with the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands.
"We're committed to using our fleet and industry-leading network as a sort of 'petri dish' to promote new alternatives and prove their feasibility in the marketplace," Broughton noted.
The introduction of EVs to the Enterprise Holdings fleet is just one facet of the industry's most comprehensive environmental sustainability platform, and a part of the company's broader, long-term strategy to embrace alternative technologies and bring viable solutions to the marketplace. With annual revenues of $12.6 billion and more than 68,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates, through its regional subsidiaries, more than 1 million cars and trucks, making it the largest car rental company in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet. Enterprise Holdings is ranked No. 17 on the Forbes "Top 500 Private Companies in America" list.
"Our partnership with Enterprise is all about providing the best possible service," said Chris Leggio, president of Mark Christopher Auto Center. "The Volt incorporates brand-new vehicle technology. So, as our customers become familiar with the vehicles, we're excited that Enterprise can offer the Volt for rental, providing a seamless and convenient customer service experience at our facility."
About Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Founded in 1957, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an internationally recognized brand operating in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland and Germany. Known for exceptionally low rates and outstanding customer service, Enterprise was named to BusinessWeek's annual list of "Customer Service Champs" in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Enterprise has ranked highest in customer satisfaction among North American airport rentals in 10 of the past 11 years, according to J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study. In addition, Enterprise won Budget Travel magazine's 2010 Readers' Choice Award as their favorite rental car brand for customer service around the globe. Enterprise also received a 2010 Business Traveler Innovation Award – sponsored by the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) and The Wall Street Journal – for its outstanding and original environmental efforts in the travel industry.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers a wide variety of car leasing, vanpooling, car sharing and hourly rental programs – and local car rental customers are picked up at no extra cost. With a well-established track record for making "virtual cars" convenient and affordable for those who prefer to "buy for the need and rent for the exception," Enterprise Rent-A-Car launched hourly rentals in 2005 and local car-sharing in 2007 as a natural extension of its business rental program and longtime focus on customized service in communities. With WeCar car-sharing technology, Enterprise offers a totally automated, membership-based and environmentally friendly transportation solution – for an hour, a day, a weekend or longer – thereby providing businesses, universities and government offices an opportunity to enhance their fleet management operations and sustainability initiatives. In addition, Enterprise Rideshare specializes in providing vanpool and carpool commuter services to individuals and companies. For more information about Enterprise, visit http://www.enterprise.com/. This news release and other Enterprise Rent-A-Car announcements are available at the Enterprise Holdings press room.