Rental car companies are offering customers greener solutions over gas-powered vehicles. Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise are giving drivers the option of renting electric vehicles. The most commonly offered options are Tesla Model 3 sedans or Model Y SUVs, but sometimes a Polestar 2, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, or Kia Niro EV is also for rent.
Another option is to rent a privately owned EV from an app like Turo.
Before renting an EV, drivers not familiar with these types of vehicles will want to do some research and planning. From starting the vehicle to charging the battery, EVs do not operate the same as gas-powered vehicles. Knowing how to operate an EV, and where to charge it in a strange city, will make your trip less stressful.
EV Car Rental Guide
Here are five simple steps to help make electric car rental a little easier.
1. How Will You Use an EV?
When you rent an electric vehicle, the first step is determining how you are going to use it. Are you only planning to drive a few miles a day in the city? Maybe, you are planning on highway driving or a long road trip.
How you use the vehicle affects the battery charge. So, the next step is determining how and where to charge the EV to ensure you have the necessary range.
2. Determine the EV’s Range
Range refers to the distance/miles an electric vehicle can cover on a single charge. It determines when you need to stop and charge the vehicle’s electric battery. Unlike gas-powered cars that only take a few minutes to refuel, EVs take noticeably longer. The type of charger determines charging times which range from 30 minutes to several hours.
Most EV car rentals have a fully charged battery, giving you an estimated range of 200 miles. How and where you drive will affect range, so it’s best to do some research before hitting the road.
3. Learn How to Operate the Electric Vehicle
Not all electric vehicles operate the same, so it’s a good idea to do some research on the model you plan to rent. For example, almost every aspect of a Tesla operates differently than standard vehicles from starting the EV to adjusting the side view mirrors.
Tesla offers drivers an online guide and Hertz provides a convenient FAQ page on their website. Brands like Kia and Nissan are easier to operate but may still require some operating instructions.
4. Decide How You Will Charge the EV
A fully charged battery is often enough to get you from the electric car rental company to your hotel. You may not need to charge the vehicle and most rental agencies allow you to return the EV with only a 10% charge.
However, if you plan on doing a little more driving, you need to determine how you are going to charge the EV. All EVs are compatible with Level 2 chargers, and you can find the units in public places like parking garages, restaurants, and shopping centers. You can expect to add around 20 miles of range per charging hour with Level 2 units.
Most EVs are also compatible with Level 3 (DC fast chargers). These types of chargers are not as common as Level 2 stations. EVs also accept different power rates which affect charging times. Even if you plug into a 350-W unit, your EV will not charge faster if it only accepts 150-W.
Charging speeds are one of the reasons for Tesla’s popularity. The vehicle manufacturer has a robust network of Tesla Superchargers. These units can quickly charge an EV but are only compatible with Tesla models.
If you are interested in learning more about electric vehicles and EV chargers, we have an extensive in-depth blog feed that covers everything you could ever want to know. You can start reviewing our EV content by clicking here.
5. Locate EV Chargers
The most common type of EV charger in cities is Level 2 units. DC fast chargers are typically located along highway corridors. Knowing the type of charging station closest to your location can affect your route.
You can download apps that pinpoint charging station locations. It’s also recommended that you check with your hotel to find out if they offer EV charging as an amenity. Tesla makes it a little easier to find charging stations, and the vehicle’s navigation system will automatically locate nearby chargers.
When you rent an electric vehicle, you want the trip to go as smoothly as possible. Doing some research will help ensure you are ready to operate an EV.
For more information on EV chargers contact one of our EV charging experts today by calling 484-816-2076, emailing [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below!