Operations

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Adding More Hybrids to Fleet

Posted on December 11, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

DENVER - Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the nation’s largest car rental company, said Wednesday the company is putting about 100 hybrid vehicles at its Denver International Airport branch, which will be designated as the company’s second “hybrid branch.”

It’s part of a major upgrade in the St. Louis-based company’s national rental fleet, adding nearly 5,000 vehicles that can run on electricity assisted by a gasoline engine. Customers will be able to reserve the hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, and Ford Escape, online or by phone.

Local rental rates for the hybrid cars are expected to start at $59.99 per day, about $10 more than the day rate for similar class vehicles, the company said.

Enterprise’s DIA branch, the company’s largest in Colorado, will have about 100 hybrids, up from about 50 or 60 such vehicles currently, said Jane Hylen, vice president and general manager for Enterprise in Colorado.

When all the new hybrid vehicles are in place, DIA will be one of nearly 80 “hybrid branch” locations for the company nationwide. The company currently has about 2,000 hybrids, the new push will bring the hybrid fleet total to about 7,000 vehicles, said company spokeswoman Lisa Martini.

In addition to the efforts on hybrids, Enterprise has designated eight “E85/FlexFuel” branches where as many as 30% of the local fleets are FlexFuel vehicles capable of using E85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline). In addition, Enterprise fuels those vehicles from a nearby E85 fueling station.

For customers who really want to be green, Enterprise and sister companies National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car allow customers the chance to pay $1.25 per rental to offset the carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions from their rented vehicles. The money pays for certified offset projects through TerraPass, based in San Francisco. The companies’ charitable foundation match customer contributions dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million.

TerraPass focuses on carbon offset projects such as clean energy produced by wind power; farm power such as dairy farm methane digesters; and landfill methane capture.

Source: Denver Business Journal

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