How EVs are upending car rental norms

How EVs are upending car rental norms

Whether it's for short- or long-term rentals, EVs appeal to rental companies because they're more efficient to manage.

Renting a car can be tricky for reasons you might not expect. If you don’t own a car, it can be hard getting used to remembering your keys or being mindful of where you parked. Even if you do own a car, you don’t own THIS car, and working all the new gizmos and gadgets can be just as challenging as navigating the open road.

UFODrive, a car rental company that began in Europe in 2018, saw these challenges and found a way to turn them into advantages in the marketplace. The key, according to the company’s Chief Commercial Officer Edmund Read, was to turn to EVs. Today, the company has an established presence in Europe and is growing steadily in the U.S., and nearly exclusively rents EVs to its customers.

“What we are able to do for customers today using modern EV platforms is way beyond what you can do with a normal ICE vehicle,” Read says. “We monitor people’s charge level. If you go below a certain level, we will engage to make sure you’re aware of that. We’ll also help book you into the nearest charge point. And then my favorite one, which happens nearly every day is, somebody returns the car, they plug it back in, they close their contract, the car locks and they walk away, but an hour later they’re having lunch and they think, ‘Ah, I’ve left my wallet or my shades or my passport or my shoes in the car.’ They can text us and we can pop the trunk and let them back into the car to find the bits that they need.”

On this episode of The Amped EV Podcast, Read joins us to walk us through how electrification is allowing the rental industry to turn customer expectations on its head. We discuss the perks EVs have unlocked in the car rental industry, how partnerships with rideshare companies like Uber are driving overall EV adoption, and the most promising EV technologies coming down the pike.

This is an audio-only version of our episode with Edmund Read, chief commercial officer at UFODrive. Go ahead, you’re already here – take a listen! But, if you’re looking for moving pictures, click here.

You May Also Like

Champtires guides EV drivers toward used tires

Shilo Rea, chief marketing officer for Champtires, explains why EV drivers might want to look into used tires.


The words "tires" and "sustainable" aren't typically muttered in the same breath, but this reputation is slowly shifting for the better. New materials and recycling processes being implemented by many tire manufacturers are helping to make a tire's life more environmentally friendly, but Champtires, a seller of used tires, says we can do better, as the company says many tires with decent tread remaining are still ending up in landfills.

How car dealers became the key to offsetting emissions

Matt Kallstrom, CEO of the Carbon Offset Company, explains why he believes car dealers are the perfect partners to help plant trees.

Exploring the options for end-of-life EV components

We explore how the useful life of critical EV components can be extended while improving their performance.

The keys to a successful electric school bus rollout

How does a district know the best way to modify their infrastructure for electrification when every school is different?

The journey to 100% EV charger reliability

John Thomas, the company’s COO, explains what it takes for an EV charger manufacturer to make waves in a crowded market segment.


Other Posts

Cold weather range loss and EVs: Separating fact from fiction

EVs are frequently criticized during colder months for the range loss they experience, but is this criticism valid?

How EVs have changed wiper blade service

For EVs, noisy wiper blades can be an annoyance because there is no internal combustion engine to help cancel out that noise.

The hidden cost of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) fleets

When companies neglect employee charging, they hurt the environment and their bottom line.

How microgrid mastery empowers fleets to go electric

Establishing a microgrid can help fleet managers better control charging schedules for their EVs.