Car hire companies going green

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Car Rental News - 16/02/2009


Rental car companies are responding to consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

In the past few years, many operators have been adding gasoline-electric hybrids and vehicles producing lower emissions to their fleets. As gas prices fall and renters look for larger cars once again, it is not clear whether the rental companies will continue their commitment to being green.

Hertz took the lead in 2006, launching its “green collection” that included several thousand fuel-efficient vehicles including the Buick LaCrosse, the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry. Now available at 50 Hertz airport rental locations, these vehicles average 31mpg on the highway, and most of them have received the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay certification, meaning that they emit lower levels of greenhouse gases.

In June of 2007, Hertz added approximately 3,400 Toyota Prius hybrids to its rental fleet in the U.S.

Other companies have been acting on consumer expectations as well. Avis Budget added 2,500 hybrids, such as Nissan’s Altima and Toyota’s Prius, to their rental fleets in the U.S.

Advantage Rent-a-Car, which is a smaller, but growing player in the rental car company, is pledging to make its U.S. rental fleet “100 percent green” by 2010.

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