Popular car rental platform Turo has revealed that electric vehicles are beginning to become incredibly popular among its users. Leading this influx of EVs is Tesla’s entire lineup of vehicles, the Model S, Model 3, and Model X; all three of which have made it to Turo’s list of most popular cars on its platform.
The growth of electric vehicles in Turo has been notable over the past years. In a statement to Ars Technica, Turo noted that the supply of electric cars grew by 1.5 times the rate of hybrids and internal combustion vehicles in 2017 and 1.6 times in 2018. Demand for electric cars also grew 1.4 times the rate of hybrids and conventional cars in 2017 and 1.5 times in 2018.
The growth in both supply and demand for EVs in Turo runs parallel to the increase in the number of Teslas available for rent on the platform. According to the company, there were only 67 Teslas listed in 2014, but by April 2019, there were over 6,000 on the site. Last year, the Tesla Model S ultimately became the 6th most popular car on its platform based on gross revenue. The Tesla Model X and Tesla Model 3 were listed as the 10th and 11th most popular vehicle for 2018 as well.
Turo CEO Andre Haddad, who personally owns a Model S, Model 3, and Model X, was impressed with the rise of Tesla’s electric cars in the car rental platform. “It’s fascinating to see how popular EVs have become over the last year. The Model 3 only showed up last spring, then started to take off in the summer as more people got their cars. And in Q4 2018, the Model 3 had overtaken the Model X. Analytically, we realize that EVs continue to be more expensive to acquire than an internal combustion engined vehicle, so the economic reality for sharing is more valid. Secondly, the cost of running an EV is a lot lower, so you can earn more per mile as an EV host,” he said.
Haddad further noted that electric car rentals serve two types of people: those who want easy access to an EV and those contemplating an electric vehicle purchase. “There are people who already drive EVs at home and are traveling to a location where they need a car and can get an EV more easily on Turo than they can anywhere else. We’re uniquely positioned compared to the conventional rental car guys in that regard. The second segment are people considering buying an EV and making the switch, and who use Turo to have an extended test drive over a weekend or week. They can try it on their commute or frequent use cases to see if fits with their lifestyle. I’d estimate that half my guests are in category one; the other half are category two,” he said.
While only eight years old, Turo has become a disruptor of the car rental industry, with the company estimated to have around 4 million users and 170,000 available vehicles for rent. The company has been expanding its operations in areas beyond the United States such as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The service is also available in Germany and in the United Kingdom. As Tesla continues its Model 3 push into the international markets, the number of electric cars in Turo’s platform could very well see more prominent increases in the near future.