Hybrid & Electric Rental Cars Easier to Find

Mar 27 08:37 2012 Steve Robinson Print This Article

People who travel in part because of available cheap airplane tickets, cheap vacation packages, discount hotel rooms, and cheap auto rentals will be pleased to hear that major car rental companies are increasingly adding more electric and hybrid cars to their fleets.

Hotels have started installing electric charging stations or giving electric and hybrid car drivers’ discounts on parking fees.

The increasing price of gas has heightened customer awareness and interest in learning more about fuel efficient car rental options. 

The following are a few examples of fuel efficient rental options now available:

·      Avis Budget Group has purchased Chevy Volt electric cars for its New York’s LaGuardia Airport location as part of a pilot program.  On a much broader basis the company is offering Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Certified green cars that are known for being environmentally friendly based on their air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

·      Enterprise offers Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt electric cars at 50 Enterprise Rent-A-Car sites and as part of its car sharing programs.  Electric cars are also available at a couple of Alamo locations.  Including hybrid cars,Guest Posting Enterprise alternative fuel fleet makes up over 400 vehicles.

·      Hertz Rent-A-Car has added electric cars in New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as in China, London and Switzerland.  More cities will be recipients of electric cars later this year.  Hertz plans to try out a wireless charging station where cars will drive over a pad to get a charge.

As charging stations become easier to find rental agencies appear more receptive to adding electric cars to their fleets.

In 2010 there were 400 electric and 274,000 hybrid cars sold in the United States.  In 2011 sales of electric cars increased to 12,700.  Hybrid car sales last year were only 268,000 because the Japanese earthquake and tsunami shut down production.

By 2017 experts expect as many as 100,000 electric and over one million hybrid cars to be sold.

All Element hotels, a Starwood brand, now offer charging stations, as do many Starwood properties, including six in Hawaii.  Marriott International offers 45 electric car charging stations at 22 properties.  Most of Kimpton’s 52 hotels extend free or discounted parking privileges to guests driving hybrid cars.

The biggest deterrent to more widespread use and availability of electric and hybrid cars is price.  Such cars average $6,000 than conventional cars.

Most rental companies are charging higher rates for hybrid and electric cars.

Hertz charges about $3 to $5 more per day for electric and hybrid cars to cover its operational costs.  Enterprise rentals for such cars range from $65 to $70 per day, which is modestly higher than comparable conventional car rentals.

Given today’s economics, renters are unlikely to be able to offset the higher rental costs or electric or hybrid rentals with gas savings which in turn means that most drivers requesting such cars will probably do so because of the environmental benefits.

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Steve Robinson
Steve Robinson

 

www.cheapfares.com employees enjoy writing and sharing travel news articles that engage them and believe others will find interesting.

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