As people searched for rental vehicles for summer road trips, the interest in “eco-friendly”-tagged vehicles has more than doubled.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, data from Kayak.com shows that customers have increasingly looked for more eco-friendly and gas-saving options as travel increased during the summer months. Likely influenced by higher gas prices, the rate at which people specifically searched for “eco-friendly”-tagged vehicles has more than doubled. Searches for compact cars have also increased by 14%, the most substantial increase for any vehicle class.
Interviews conducted by the WSJ show that consumers primarily saw EVs as an easy way to save on gas. This was especially the case for people doing longer driving trips. Some claimed that over multiple hundred-mile trips, they saved hundreds on gas alone. Even with hybrid options, consumers were able to keep fuel costs below $100 despite 500-600 mile trips.
This shift in interest has shown that some rental agencies have been ready for this, while others lag behind. Hertz Rental Cars for instance has likely benefited from this heightened interest in electric/electrified vehicles.
Hertz’s website advertises a variety of services that help consumers rent an electric vehicle. The company’s EVs are priced equivalently to other “luxury” rentals, and all of their electric cars have access to free charging via Shell Recharge stations. Hertz even advertises that they will search other locations if one specific branch lacks an EV that a customer may want.
A look at the sites of competing brands such as Alamo and Enterprise shows they either lack inventory in most of the locations checked, or they lacked the option of EVs entirely. Hertz may be benefiting from the deals they have secured with Tesla and Polestar, and with a goal of 30% of their fleet being electric by 2024, they may be ahead in fleet capacity compared to their rivals. It is not yet clear how the company will fair against EV-focused startups.
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