Enterprise Rent-A-Car is adding the Torrance, Calif., rental office at 20625 Hawthorne Blvd. to its growing list of locations offering electric vehicle (EV) rentals, providing customers throughout Southern California with the opportunity to experience EV technology with the addition of Nissan LEAF EVs and an on-site charging station.
In collaboration with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG), Enterprise is also piloting an “EV Owners Discount Program” for customers at the Torrance branch, which provides EV owners with a 15 percent discount off the regular retail rate when they need to rent a longer-range vehicle. In addition, EV owners can charge up their own EVs at Enterprise during the rental.
Enterprise and the SBCCOG have a history of working together on sustainable transportation initiatives, including the SBCCOG’s Local Use Vehicle (LUV) project. In 2010, Enterprise helped the SBCCOG lease and prepare six 100 percent EVs to launch the project, which the SBCCOG is using to study how the vehicles can reduce emissions, air pollution and gas consumption. And as Enterprise works to establish EV infrastructure via the private sector, the SBCCOG is studying EV infrastructure development to promote wider adoption of more sustainable transportation alternatives.
“We’re a catalyst to electric vehicle infrastructure development, which includes offering extended test drives of EVs via rentals to curious customers,” said Greg Tabak, director of EV programs for Southern California, Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Helping EV technology establish itself in the marketplace also means finding unique ways to make it easier for EV owners to rent for the times when they need a longer-range vehicle, such as for a road trip or a move across town.”
The SBCCOG and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) have made a commitment to making the South Bay EV ready.
“Enterprise has been a good private collaborator, bringing their expertise in vehicle fleet purchase and management to our project,” said Ellen Perkins, SBCCOG Chair and Palos Verdes Estates Councilwoman. “Combined with our efforts to further EV infrastructure development, this is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together toward a common goal to improve our environment. It’s these kinds of collaborations that will help drive the type of change we need.”
The South Coast AQMD is likewise dedicated to improving Southern California through the addition of sustainable transportation options. AQMD provided funding for the LUV demonstration program in cooperation with SBCCOG.
“The future of clean air in Southern California will depend on the widespread deployment of electric vehicles and other zero- and near-zero emission technologies,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., Governing Board Chairman of the South Coast AQMD.
Enterprise’s continued rollout of EVs is part of its overall goal to use its fleet as a “Petri dish” to help grow the market for EVs and other clean-fuel technologies, both in California and throughout the United States.
The Torrance rental office becomes the 11th Enterprise location in Southern California to offer EV rentals, joining branches in Encino, Newport Beach, Ontario, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks. Enterprise operates the largest network of EV rentals in California, and is uniquely positioned to introduce drivers to EV technology with more than 5,500 car rental locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.
“California is a natural place to roll out electric vehicle rentals because of the commitment the state has made to EV infrastructure development,” said Lee Broughton, head of corporate sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. “We want to help people experience and understand EV technology. Our industry’s future depends on keeping passenger vehicles – and the fuels required to power them – economically viable and socially acceptable. So, it’s important to invest in and integrate alternatives into our fleet.”
EV rentals from Enterprise are also available in many markets throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom. Enterprise currently offers Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt extended-range EV rentals, and does not charge for vehicles returned without a full charge.
Enterprise’s focus on sustainable vehicle technology prompted it to join the Electrification Coalition in 2010 and the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Clean Cities” National Clean Fleets Partnership in 2011.