It's Electric! Enterprise Cars & Sustainable Living Unite
Traveling can be a sustainable living enthusiast's worst nightmare. With air travel being an astronomical contributor to global emissions, and train travel often a few Federal funding dollars away, its important to try to make on the ground travel as low-impact as possible. Starting in 2011 you can do just that with Enterprise's Rent A Car! They will be offering the Nissan Leaf Electric vehicles to their customers. With well over 5,000 locations scattered through out the U.S. one of these vehicles may just be in range.
Their initial investment of 500 vehicles is an excellent indicator of a few major trends. First, customers want more fuel-efficient, cost-saving, and environmentally-friendly forms of transit. Second, it demonstrates an increasing commitment toward electric vehicles from transportation industries. An important step after issues highlighted in the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?" shed light on the auto industries extensive efforts to silence the technology not so long ago. Lastly, it signifies hope. Hope that as a society we are driving in the right direction toward lower greenhouse gas emissions and impact.
Where can I rent an EV? EVs, or electric vehicles, will be available via Enterprise where the cities currently are or are in the process of becoming equipped to charge and handle the specialized vehicles. This includes Phoeniz & Tuscon, AZ, Knoxville & Nashville, TN, San Diego & Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Enterprise is planning on playing a key part in the deployment of EVs and their growth outside of their rental chain through charging stations. They are already equipped with hybrid rentals, so they are tacking on one more service to these stations come Fall.
Me Not Work EV... Have no fear, Enterprise is on it. Their employees will be undergoing extensive training to help EV new comers get comfortable driving the vehicles before pushing the pedal to the metal next winter. With the ability to travel 100 miles until needing re-charging, most rental car users shouldn't need a new energy supply. And if you aren't ready for the world of electrics quite yet, you can ask the office about hybrids (they have been stockpiling those as well...very sneaky).
How Dedicated is Enterprise to Alternative Transit? Shockingly enough...a lot! At least a lot more than you may have originally assumed. They have a separate research institute looking into biofuels that began in 2007, they have developed a WeCar car-sharing technology for more localized rentals, and now with their changing fleets to include more sustainable living options they are looking good. What's better though is that they are making internal commitments as well including reducing energy, recycling used motor oil and filters, planting trees, and even some design change implementations that are projected to cut their yearly CO2 emissions by 6.5 million pounds...that's a whole lotta reduction.
So starting next winter, keep your eye out for the opportunity to test drive an EV through Enterprise Rent-a-Car! Of course a hybrid could suffice in the mean time. Also, keep your eye out for other rental car agencies that follow suit, hopefully Enterprise is a leader in what will become a new trend for the rental car industry.
Photo Credit: Pike Research