QOTD: Ready to Rent an EV?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd ready to rent an ev

We covered Hertz expanding its EV offerings yesterday. As I think it over, I have a couple of questions.

If rental-car companies offer more and more EV choices, will it help speed up EV adoption among car buyers? Will you use this to try out EV options yourself?

Yes, it's a two-parter today.

These are pretty self-explanatory, so no need for a lengthy, or even medium-length, preamble.

Oh, one bonus sub-question, pursuant to question number one above -- does it make a difference, in terms of potentially speeding EV adoption among car buyers, what types of models companies rent out? In other words, do rental-car companies need to offer cheaper alternatives to luxury EVs?

Sound off below.

[Image: Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com]

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4 of 77 comments
  • W Conrad W Conrad on Aug 24, 2023

    Since I probably can't afford an EV for a while, I like the option to be able to rent one and try it out. Though hopefully they would have affordable options, not just expensive ones or only Teslas.

  • YaMoBeThere YaMoBeThere on Aug 25, 2023

    Rented an EV6 from Oakland to Tahoe, everything went great until we got to Tahoe and needed to charge, then it became a massive headache and time waster.

    Public charging infrastructure is still way too confusing and sporadic, charging apps give conflicting and oftentimes wrong information creating unneeded stress and frustration.

    Overall, seeing the tech and one pedal driving was cool, but the experience sucked and driving enjoyment just wasn't there for me.

  • TCowner TCowner on Aug 25, 2023

    When I'm renting a car, whether on business or on a vacation, the last thing I'm going to do is get an EV and have to plan for and waste time charging it.

  • Michael Michael on Aug 26, 2023

    Last August I tried to rent an EV from Alamo, but when I arrived to pick it up they simply “didn’t have any” and I got put in a very tired Nissan Murano.

    I tried again this year and managed to rent a Kia EV6 from Hertz in Buffalo, NY just a couple weeks ago.

    Great experience overall, I had reserved a “Kia Niro EV or similar” and fully expected to end up in a Chevy Bolt.

    I spotted the EV6 on the lot as I walked up from the airport across the street, I own an Ioniq 5 so I jumped at the chance to try out its Kia counterpart, and it was only $15 more a day than the Bolt they were going to give me.

    It had 100% SoC when I drove off, and I had an hour’s drive, about 57 miles to my parents’ place outside of Fredonia, made it there with about 80% left.

    Fredonia happens to have one of the few Tesla Superchargers open to non-Teslas in the US and an Electrify America outside the Walmart, and there’s a plug in the garage at my parents’ place I can use in a pinch, so I felt pretty confident.

    Unfortunately Hertz didn’t provide any portable charger, I guess I should’ve asked. All that was in the trunk was the V2L adapter that lets you plug stuff in to the charge port, and the fix-a-flat kit.

    I tried out the Supercharger just for grins and to say I did it, I was aware that there’s an issue where the V3 Superchargers and the Hyundai eGMP vehicles, like the EV6, don’t get along and it charged at a pretty slow 42kW, the V4 Superchargers supposedly work fine, but they haven’t made it over to the US yet. I stuck around for about twenty minutes before going across the street to check out the Electrify America.

    The last time I’d visited that EA station was on a Thanksgiving road trip in my Ioniq 5 to see my parents last year. The station was in seriously bad shape, two of the stalls were inoperable and the rest were derated. Thankfully in the months since, EA actually replaced most or all of the stalls, and all were operating well the couple of times I visited the station over my six day rental.

    Hertz asked that I return the car with at least 80% charge, which wasn’t a problem, there’s an Electrify America just around the corner from the Hertz office at the Walmart in Cheektowaga, and it has the new style Electrify America terminals with a single long cable, and are supposedly more reliable than the old ones.

    The morning I returned the car, I stoped there to charge up and it connected with no issue and started charging at the car’s max rate of 239kW immediately. Tanked up from 13% to 85% in just 19 minutes, one of my best EA experiences.

    Hertz had a bunch of Chevy Bolts, a few EV6s, and a bunch of Tesla 3s and Ys, really appreciate the variety!