By John DeFore
Green Right Now
Whatever you drive (or don’t) at home, traveling to a city with poor public transport can put you at the mercy of either taxis whose efficiency may not have been state-of-the-art since the ’80s or rental cars chosen for popularity and price instead of their MPG rating.
The rental firm Enterprise, mindful of current trends, has just announced it is adding about 5,000 hybrid autos to its rental fleet — cars customers can have set aside for them in advance either online or over the phone.
According to an official statement, the company “already was home to the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles” and had hybrids already available, though not as many as 5,000. But it’s clearly making those cars more visible, by establishing around 80 of its locations as “hybrid branches” that are particularly well stocked. See a list of participating locations here. (Many branches are clustered within a single city, so don’t expect to see 80 cities listed.)
Prices will vary around the country, just as they do for regular autos, but checking the one-day rate for a Prius in Austin yielded a quote just under $50. (Versus about $28 for the cheapest offering, a Chevy Aveo.)
Four makes of gas/electric hybrid are listed in Enterprise’s materials: the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima, Ford Escape and Toyota Camry. Enterprise also has eight branches with high concentrations of E85 FlexFuel vehicles, and offers customers the option of paying $1.25 per rental for carbon offsets provided by TerraPass.
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