ST. LOUIS, MO - Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced the first phase of its plans to offer electric vehicles at select offices throughout its neighborhood network of more than 5,000 U.S. locations.
Delivery of 500 Nissan LEAFs will begin in January 2011 and will continue throughout the year. In addition to the LEAFs, the company said it will offer customers electric vehicles from other manufacturers as they become available.
"As a company that owns and operates the world's largest fleet of passenger vehicles, we have a vested interest and a history of working with manufacturers to integrate alternative-powered vehicles into our fleet," said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car as well as the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands. "With airport and neighborhood locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, our Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are uniquely positioned to test the market viability of new alternative-fuel technologies like the electric vehicle with daily commuters nationwide."
The cars can be charged using a standard 110-volt home outlet, or a 220-volt or 480-volt commercial charging station. Most EVs can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, accommodating the travel habits of the daily commuter, who drives an average of approximately 40 miles a day.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car initially will offer electric vehicles to customers across eight different markets where the infrastructure exists to support the vehicles. These markets are Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.
Beginning November 2010, charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise "hybrid branches" -- nearly 100 designated locations that offer hybrids and other environmentally friendly rental options in 30 different markets.
Enterprise is rolling out the vehicles to a limited number of branches to ensure that the company can properly train employees to show customers how to use and charge the EVs.
The company said that through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise Holdings already operates the world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, including nearly 7,000 gas/electric hybrid vehicles.