Advertisement

Renting Electric Cars: Hertz Rocks, Enterprise Facing More Challenges?

Follow Antony

Hertz electric-car rental press event, New York City, September 2010

Hertz electric-car rental press event, New York City, September 2010

Enlarge Photo

Does electric car rental work as a business proposition?

That might depend on who you ask. Because despite popular rental company Hertz having massive success with the format, backed up by other popular schemes like Car2Go, things aren't so rosy for Enterprise.

According to the New York Times (via The Car Connection), customers haven't really taken to Enterprise's fleet of 350 all-electric Nissan Leafs.

That seems odd, given that Enterprise isn't only making efforts to educate customers--just as it did when the company first started offering hybrid vehicles--but it's even making the cars available in areas full of what Enterprise calls the "Eco-curious".

That means drivers in urban locations, often Gen X and Millenials, and interested in greener transportation. So why aren't they going for the Leaf? And why aren't Hertz, Car2Go and others having the same problems?

Hertz has been bullish about its success with electric cars. In October last year, it claimed that if the factories could produce them, it would take another two or three thousand EVs to add to its small fleet of 50.

Some of that is down to the cars' success with corporate customers. For short-distance travel, Hertz reckons that companies much prefer to put their employees in an electric car--particularly if the company has clear sustainability plans. It's also a good way for the companies to trial electric vehicles before taking the plunge with their own fleet.

While Enterprise seems to be present in the right locations--major cities like New York, Austin and Phoenix--perhaps its focus on private individuals isn't capturing the core market of businesses?

We've seen that short-term car rental can work perfectly for individuals with Car2Go, whose fleet of smart fortwo electric drive cars is proving extremely popular in cities like San Diego.

With Enterprise seemingly taking a middle ground between Car2Go's short-term rentals and Hertz's business-led approach, it could suggest that a less-traditional take on car rental could be the way to go when it comes to electric cars.

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (3)
  1. The info provided doesn't lead me to conclude that Hertz is making money hand over fist : 50 cars and this from last October? I have to assume the PR depts have had a hand in all this - today is not the time, what with a lack of charging stations, etc. for a rental company to embark on a program like this. They are jumping the gun.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. I rent a lot of cars, I try to rent green cars when the opportunity presents itself. My experience in general has been that the reservation systems do not make it easy or even possible to rent green cars. If they are available the customer service reps typically discourage them. I had one flat out tell me that I didn't want to rent one of the many leaf cars in the parking lot because I couldn't go very far and that I wouldn't be happy with it. This has been my experience with car sales people as well. My opinion is that the biggest barrier to adoption is the sales people themselves. Getting butts in the driver seats of EV's and green cars in general will eliminate the perception problems and misinformation spewed by the detractors.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. i tried renting a volt for a 3 day trip in DC, with no luck at all.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Advertisement

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you
Go!

Find Green Cars

Go!

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.