(HorizonPost.com) – Car rental customers are recently discovering that they are being assigned electric vehicles they did not request with little or no advanced notice from the rental companies, the Washington Examiner reported.
The surprise is not always a welcome one, however, with some customers complaining that they had no experience driving and charging electric vehicles, while others expressed frustration over the lack of sufficient charging stations along their travel routes.
In its report, the Washington Examiner spoke with customers who booked standard vehicles online from rental companies like Avis, Budget, and Hertz, only to receive an electric vehicle instead.
One customer recounted his experience trying to find charging stations while traveling in Minnesota. When he did finally track one down, the charger didn’t work.
In recent years, rental car companies have launched ambitious plans to include more electric vehicles in their fleets. However, the outcome is that some of their customers have been surprised to learn that the vehicle they were renting was electric.
Some customers told the Washington Examiner that when they tried to swap their electric car for a gas-powered one, they were given a hard time by the rental companies. One customer said he had to wait two hours for a gas-powered car to become available. Another said the only gas-powered vehicle on the lot was a large minivan.
According to the Washington Examiner, rental companies don’t disclose the number of electric vehicles in their fleets or the number of chargers they have available at their locations, making it impossible to determine the extent of the problem.
Greg Scott from the American Rental Car Association said the transition to electric vehicles is something the industry has never had to deal with and as a result, it could take some time to “work out the kinks.”
Both Avis and Hertz acknowledged the difficulties of the transition, largely due to the high cost of maintenance for electric vehicles but also due to the many car renters who have never operated an electric vehicle.
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