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USA: Renting an Electric Car Is Daunting Task, Especially in Texas

When pioneering electric vehicles owners travel across the country, and need to rent a car, they logically would prefer an EV. But that experience can be daunting, as reported by one this site’s community members—who preferred to remain anonymous to protect the innocent. I’ll use the name Nick (in honor of Nikolai Tesla).

“I was going to visit a friend in Austin for a day and then drive to the Plugin 2012 conference in San Antonio,” said Nick. “I was there about a week. I knew it was about 80 miles between the cities and I also knew there were charging opportunities along the way by using the Recargo app. I was concerned about the trip between the cities but not so much driving around in either city.” He’d found an Enterprise location online which had a Nissan LEAF available, though only in Austin and not San Antonio.

Reservations

“I had a friend to visit in Austin anyway so I went ahead with a plan to fly into Austin and drive 80 miles to San Antonio. Normally you just rent from a class of cars, like economy, sedans or even ‘green’ cars, so I couldn’t use the website to reserve the particular model I wanted, the Nissan LEAF.” When he called and found the Austin branch was closed for the day, a call to the national operator led to confusion about whether the branch actually had a LEAF or not. Even if it did, booking it through the national call-center wasn’t possible.
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