Companies That Offer EV Rentals
Since 2021, Hertz has entered into purchase agreements for over 300,000 EVs in the United States, Europe, and Australia. In the US alone, Hertz offers EV rentals at more than 1,600 locations across 44 states.
This year, Hertz expects to rent out nearly 2 million EVs, a significant increase compared to 2022. By the end of 2024, Hertz aims to have EVs account for 25% of its global fleet, up from the current 10%.
To support the EV fleet, Hertz has established over 2,700 charging stations in the US. These charging stations include neighborhood locations as well as major airports. Airports with Hertz charging stations include Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.
Hertz plans to expand its charging infrastructure further through partnerships with energy companies like BP, which has committed to investing $1 billion in EV chargers across the United States by 2030.
Hertz has observed strong consumer demand for its EV rentals, particularly since announcing its plans to purchase Teslas in November 2021. Summer 2023 weekly EV rental rates started at $391 before taxes in Los Angeles and $261 before taxes in Miami.
Enterprise Holdings offers thousands of EVs from manufacturers such as Tesla, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Enterprise Holdings spokesperson Lisa Martini states that the company is fully embracing the transition to electric vehicles and is committed to doing so thoughtfully. However, specific details regarding the volume, locations, and timeline for the EV rollout have not been disclosed. Martini notes that Enterprise’s EV inventory is mainly concentrated in West Coast locations where there is currently strong demand for EVs and supporting infrastructure.
Weekly rental rates in San Francisco for Nissan Leaf EVs start at $694 before taxes.
Avis Budget Group
Avis Budget Group, the parent company of Avis Car Rental and Budget Rent A Car, has been relatively quiet about its plans regarding EVs. However, the company has silently introduced rental options for Tesla Model 3s and Chevy Bolts on its website. Additionally, Avis Budget Group has partnered with EverCharge to enhance its charging infrastructure, enabling greater electrification of its vehicle fleet (particularly at select airports).
Turo, a platform similar to Airbnb, operates as a peer-to-peer car-sharing rental service that offers a variety of vehicles, including EVs. Turo offers the most competitive EV rental prices in many US cities. Weekly EV car rentals are available in cities like Austin (starting from $162, including taxes), New York City ($463), Chicago ($315), Miami ($222), and Los Angeles ($286).
Things to Bear in Mind When Renting EVs
EV Mileage Range
Many people who consider renting EVs have a common worry: the fear of running out of power while on the road. This is commonly referred to as range anxiety.
According to Cox Automotive’s Schirmer, charging an EV is more complex than refueling a traditional vehicle at a local gas station, especially due to limited charging infrastructure in certain areas. While the average range of an EV is approximately 230 miles on a full charge, the actual mileage can vary based on factors such as incline, acceleration, and temperatures. EV mileage calculations are dynamic and influenced by these variables.
Different Types of EV Charging Stations
EV charging stations are classified into three tiers: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 chargers, each offering different charging speeds. Level 1 chargers are the slowest, Level 2 chargers are midrange, and Level 3 chargers are ultrafast. Level 3 chargers, also known as fast chargers, can provide significant, if not full, charges in approximately half an hour. These chargers are recommended for renters who don’t plan to take long breaks or explore nearby establishments while charging their EVs.
Charging Station Locations
When preparing for an EV road trip, a helpful tip is to book hotels that offer charging stations for guests. Major hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton provide this amenity, and travel booking platforms such as Expedia and Booking.com have filters to search for hotels with charging stations.
However, relying on charging infrastructure can limit the spontaneous nature of a road trip that many travelers enjoy, as it requires planning itineraries around charging access. Charging infrastructure is most prevalent in densely populated areas, popular travel routes, and tourist destinations.
Although charging stations are not yet widespread, first-time EV road-trippers should consider the West Coast, where states like California, Washington, and Oregon have invested significantly in EV charging efforts. California leads the nation in EV chargers and aims to have 250,000 chargers by 2025.
The charging infrastructure is gradually improving, thanks in part to public charging companies such as ChargePoint (with 18,000 charging locations across most states and Canada), EVgo (with 850-plus stations nationwide), and Electrify America (with 800 stations in 46 states).
Websites and apps like PlugShare and ChargeHub can assist in locating charging stations across the United States. Google Maps also provides a filter for EV charging stations, and Tesla offers its own trip-planning tool.
Costs and Fees
It’s important to consider the pricing structure of charging stations, as they typically charge based on the kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage. The prices can vary depending on the charging station provider and the level of the charger.
Another factor to keep in mind is compatibility. While Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations are compatible with all commercially available EVs in the United States, some electric vehicles do not have the capability for DC fast charging. Additionally, while non-Tesla EVs can usually charge at Tesla stations with an adapter, not all Supercharger stations are compatible with non-Teslas.
Fees may be applicable to EV rentals if the vehicles are returned with a partial charge, similar to how car rental companies impose refueling fees on standard car rentals if they are not returned with a full tank of gas. The specific policies vary depending on the rental agency, so it’s important to inquire about them.