Electric vehicles are the future. Whether you choose a small run-around car like the Smart ForTwo, or opt for the luxurious and popular Tesla, you will have the car of the future. Rental companies know this and so they are gearing up for the big switch by introducing more EVs into their fossil fuel-heavy fleets.
Whether you want to test drive an EV that you are considering, or you want to take an EV on your travels around the country, hiring a car can be a great opportunity to get an idea of what life is like with an electric car.
No rental company has more branches around the UK than Enterprise. They have the most extensive range of EVs available to choose from, whether it’s a comfortable Kia Niro or a slightly fancier Audi e-tron 55. All of their vehicles are new or almost new, so you get to try some of the latest models around and many of their unique Car Club vehicles are electric or hybrids.
However, the majority of cars at Enterprise are still petrol and diesel options and there is no specific function on their website to book a ‘standard’ electric vehicle so you may need to call in advance to secure your EV! Also, Enterprise – like most rental companies – can’t guarantee a make or model, so they may have to offer a similar car to what you ask for.
At the end of 202, Hertz announced that they were purchasing 100,000 Tesla Model 3 cars to bring the EV proportion of their fleet to 20%. They stated that this will mainly benefit North America at first, but this will start to filter into Europe and the UK towards the end of 2022 and onwards.
To accompany the influx of EVs, they also announced that they would install thousands of EV charge points and an app to specifically book EVs.
As well as Tesla models, Hertz also host the Citroen DS3 electric and the Polestar 2. Top Gear describes the Polestar as “one of the most complete electric cars money can buy” so if you are looking to try out an EV built to rival the Tesla Model 3.
Image credit: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/polestar/2
Europcar may not offer as many options when it comes to hiring an EV, but they are moving in the right direction. Their aim is to give businesses and drivers a chance to drive EVs in their everyday life before committing to buying one. Europcar also don’t require renters to recharge their EVs when they return them! Unlike other car rental websites, Europcar offer a dedicated site for EVs too so you can easily search for what you want.
Managing Director Ron Santiago wants businesses to consider the “big financial implications” of electrifying their fleet by testing “every aspect of electric mobility” prior to purchasing. They’ve also added hundreds of Tesla EVs to their fleet and are expected to continue in the future, while also providing EVs like the Renault Zoe and Hyundai Kona.
Avis offer less options than the aforementioned rental giants, but what they do offer is very luxurious. The Jaguar I-Pace 400S HSE, Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription and Range Rover Evoque P300e Autobiography are all SUV or executive vehicles that are available for hire.
Alike Enterprise and Hertz, the Sixt website makes it tricky to browse specifically for EVs. They offer luxury cars like the Volvo CX40 and a choice of hybrid or EVs when booking transfers or limousine services.
All in all, there has been a huge improvement in EV options from the biggest vehicle rental companies in the UK but there is a long way to go. Many suffer from a lack of models available and often only provide luxury options, such as Tesla models, which may be out of reach to the average car rental customer.
Another issue is that many branches do not have dedicated on-site chargers, or customers may not be able to charge publicly, at work or at home due to a lack of EV charging infrastructure. To have your own EV charger installed at your home or work, contact us here!
Why is it important that car rental companies have green options?
The government has made a commitment to improve journey connectivity throughout the UK. This involves cycle storage, e-cycle hire, car-pool parking spaces and a greater number of electric vehicle rentals, “including at smaller stations”.
Jose Blanco, Chief Sales Officer for Europcar Mobility Group, expresses the importance of EV rental so people can test drive models and to generate greater interest in making the switch from fuel-powered cars. Blanco said, once customers have tried electric cars “the likelihood of them buying the next electric vehicles is much higher”.
Therefore, to unite different methods of public transport across the UK and to excite people enough to purchase an EV, car rental companies must invest in electric vehicles.