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.

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