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A Charge For Half-Full Electric Cars?

by Tom Moccia | January 18, 2011January 18, 2011 4:00 am PDT

We have all been there, our vacation is winding down and all that’s left to do is drive to the airport and return the rental car. As you pull in to the rental center you realize the tank is half full. You need to make a decision: Go fill up and lose valuable time or just take the hit on the refueling charge, which is totally overpriced I might add. You look at the family, so mellow and content, and decide not to chance missing the flight.

With the introduction of electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, renters will now find that they need to be wary about electric cars that are not fully charged upon return. How will this work out once electric cars become more prevalent? Electric cars typically take anywhere from thirty minutes to twenty hours to charge depending on the method. Will there be a pay per use charging station at the rental office, or are you just plain out of luck?

Well, according to Engadget at least one rental car company will not charge for half charged electric car rental returns. They contacted Enterprise and received an official statement in regards to the matter. Lisa Martini of Enterprise stated, “[Enterprise] does not plan to charge customers for bringing back EVs without a full charge. Enterprise is installing charging stations at locations that will offer EVs, and plans to charge the vehicles once they’re returned.”

That’s is refreshing coming from one of the largest rental car companies in the country. I just hope that other companies take note and don’t try to gouge consumers adopting electric alternatives early in the cycle. If you want consumers to rent electric vehicles it must be a hassle free experience.

Let me ask you TechnoBuffalo Readers, if you had the choice between electric and a gas rental car, what would you choose and why?

[via Engadget]

Tom Moccia

Tom Moccia is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and moved his family west in 2000 and now calls Stockton, California home with his wife and two...