Selecting a rental car has long been relatively simple. Just pick a size and style, and off you go. But times are changing, and so are the options on the rental lot. Increasingly, they include electric vehicles, or EVs.
Several rental companies, including Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis, offer EVs at scores of airports and other locations around the country. And more of these green vehicles are coming. Hertz says that its goal is to have one-quarter of its fleet be electric by the end of 2024. You can also find EVs on car-sharing rental apps such as Turo.
Renting an EV is an eco-friendly alternative. Plus, if you’ve been thinking of buying or leasing an EV, it’s a good way to squeeze in a test drive. But the decision comes with wrinkles, too. Operating an EV is not the same as getting behind the wheel of a conventional gas-powered car, and charging one is not the same as fueling at the pump. If you want to book an EV, you’ll want to plan. Here are six things to know before your trip.
Where to Find an EV Rental
Despite their growing presence, EVs aren’t available everywhere. Many travel-aggregator websites don’t break down the options by category. The easiest way to search is through the rental agencies’ websites and apps themselves.
Smart Tip: Rent an EV or hybrid for a few hours or a few days using GIG Car Share. Members save 10% off each trip.
What Type of Driving You Plan to Do
Is this a quick trip to the office or a scenic excursion down the California coast? How and where you drive (freeways, surface streets, hills, flats) will determine how frequently you need to recharge. All kinds of EVs are available for rent—Teslas, Polestars, Nissans, Kias—and while most have a full-battery range of 200 miles or more, you’ll want a car that’s suited to your purposes. Dialing in those details will also help you plan where and when you’ll be plugging in.