Do you want to try out a Chevy Volt? How about renting a Volt for a week and taking it on vacation? I can't think of a better way to see how it will fit in your family than an extended test drive over a whole week in "real world" conditions.
A year ago, this would just be a dream. Today, it's reality for California and New York residents!
As of February 2011, Enterprise Rent-A-Car now offers Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicles for daily and weekly rentals at its Mark Christopher Auto Center branch in Ontario, California. Enterprise added the Volt to its fleet in early January and is working with all auto manufacturers to make electric vehicles (EV) available to consumers for rental at its neighborhood and airport locations, and through its WeCar car-sharing program.
On January 13, Enterprise was the first in the car rental industry to offer the Volt, which was rented to the Automotive Club of Southern California. "We appreciate that Enterprise is on the cutting edge of renting state-of-the-art, green vehicles," said Steve Mazor, manager of the Automotive Research Center for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
In preparation for the vehicles, Enterprise installed charging stations at select locations throughout California. Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) manufacturer EV-Charge America installed the new multi-vehicle charging station at Enterprise's Mark Christopher Auto Center rental location. The charging station provides easy access to vehicle charging, and multi-vehicle recharging, for Enterprise at the Ontario location.
Enterprise is working with a variety of EVSE manufacturers to install Level II chargers at its neighborhood locations in each city where EVs are offered to its customers. In addition to the locations where chargers are already available at Enterprise in California, several will soon be installed at rental locations in Washington, Oregon, Tennessee and Arizona.
While most EVs can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, extended-range EVs like the Volt can travel up to 379 miles on a full charge and full tank of gas due to an on-board gas-powered generator. Both technologies accommodate the travel habits of the daily commuter, who drives an average of approximately 40 miles a day.
"We will continue to integrate new, clean fuel and engine technologies into our fleet to promote new alternatives like the Volt and help them become commercially viable," said Lee Broughton, director of corporate sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "Making EVs available through our network of Enterprise locations provides an opportunity for customers to try them out for consideration through an extended test drive."
Enterprise works with all automotive manufacturers as well as electric vehicle suppliers and advocates, such as the Electrification Coalition, to enhance awareness of EVs.
"Enterprise shares our belief that promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale will combat the nation's dependence on petroleum," said Robbie Diamond, President and CEO of the Electrification Coalition. "This milestone for the rental car industry represents an integral element in our mission to diversify our energy sources."
To book an EV at the Enterprise Ontario location, go to www.enterprise.com. For the latest information about Enterprise's commitment to alternative-powered vehicles and operating sustainably, visit its new sustainability web site: www.drivingfutures.com.
In January of 2011, The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ), the world's largest general use airport car rental brand, announced that the first Chevy Volt rental was completed in Manhattan. The addition of the Volt to the Company's rental fleet further solidifies Hertz's leadership position in providing EVs for rent to retail consumers and business fleets, to support the build out of the charging infrastructure needed to support EV adoption by consumers.
I'm waiting for Hertz or Enterprise to bring the Chevy Volt to Atlanta so I can rent it myself!