Renting An Electric Car To Help You Choose
This is probably one of most haunting question the car industry is desperately seeking to answer, how to raise public awareness of the benefit of electric vehicles, EV. No denying the favored way to introduce a new model is to appeal to fleet owners who will test them for a year under a controlled environment. The company receives invaluable real life data that is used to tweak the necessary changes before final mass production happens. This also has proven to be the favored way when introducing a disruptive technology, such electric cars, as in the case of the Nissan Leaf, the Ford electric Focus and Mitsubishi “i”. All of them first went to fleets before being released to the public. This is the perfect win-win situation for consumers, carmaker and rental companies.
Renting Versus Buying. While Zip Car originally was to rent electric cars, it decided to go the traditional route before introducing conventional hybrid, HEVs and finally pure electric cars. The idea makes a lot of sense for all parties concerned. Carmakers get to sell a few electric cars, get live feedback. Rental companies can finally offer truly efficient city cars but the real winners are consumers.
Don’t Want To Buy Yet, Rent It. This could be the motto for electric car manufacturers. If you are sitting on the fence choosing between a Nissan Leaf, a Ford electric Focus and a Mitsubishi “i”, you could simply rent them to decide which one suits your needs best. Europcar just agreed on a joint venture with Nissan to lease its Leaf throughout Europe. According to Guillaume Cartier, vice president of sales operations at Nissan: “The first (reason) is obvious: with its absence of tailpipe emissions and an outstanding driving pleasure, the Nissan Leaf is the perfect car for the inner city… The second is for drivers currently unsure whether an EV is suitable for their needs… By renting a Nissan Leaf and living with it in real world conditions they can evaluate the car in their own time.”
Enterprise in the US has started to also rent the Nissan Leaf, which can be found in major cities currently. A quick search on Wikipedia listed as many as 10 US based car rental companies.
As the progression of electric car mass adoption happens, it is clear it will be done via rental car companies that offer the chance to test drive your EV at your convenience before deciding which one to choose.