"As a company that owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of passenger vehicles, we have a vested interest and a history of working with manufacturers to integrate alternative-powered vehicles into our fleet," said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car as well as the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands. "With airport and neighborhood locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, our Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are uniquely positioned to test the market viability of new alternative fuel technologies like the electric vehicle with daily commuters nationwide."
Electric vehicles, commonly referred to as EVs, use no gasoline and do not produce greenhouse gas emissions. The cars can be charged using a standard 110-volt home outlet, or a 220-volt or 480-volt commercial charging station. Most EVs can travel about 100 miles on a single charge, accommodating the travel habits of the daily commuter, who drives an average of approximately 40 miles a day.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car initially will offer electric vehicles to customers across eight different markets where the infrastructure exists to support the vehicles, including Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. Beginning November 2010, charging stations will be installed at select locations, including several of the Enterprise "hybrid branches" — nearly 100 designated locations which offer hybrids and other environmentally-friendly rental options in 30 different markets. Enterprise is rolling the vehicles out to a limited number of branches to ensure that it can properly train its employees to show customers how to use and charge the EVs.
Through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise Holdings already operates the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, including nearly 7,000 gas/electric hybrid vehicles.
"As a company, we are committed to manage our business responsibly and for the long term," added Broughton. "Bringing electric vehicles to our fleet is one more way for us to leverage our leadership position to balance the needs of our customers, partners and the world around us."
Enterprise Holdings’ introduction of electric vehicles is just one facet of the industry’s most comprehensive environmental sustainability platform, which includes initiatives such as a customer carbon offset program; a pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years; the use of biodiesel fuel in its Alamo, Enterprise and National airport shuttle buses; and a commitment to alternative fuels research. Since 2006, Enterprise’s environmental stewardship has resulted in:
* Significant strides in alternative fuel research at the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels focusing on the creation of biofuels from algae, soybean and camelina. Since the Institute was created in 2007 through a partnership between Enterprise and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, it has been awarded approximately $75 million in additional research grants.
* A commitment to reduce both energy use and energy costs by 20 percent over the next five years through the company’s new sustainability initiative called the 20/20 Vision.
* WeCar car-sharing technology — complemented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s extensive local car rental network — provides an environmentally friendly transportation solution, whether it is for an hour, a day, a weekend or longer. Totally automated and membership-based, WeCar serves local businesses, universities and government offices looking to enhance their fleet management operations and sustainability initiatives.
* Annual recycling of approximately 710,000 gallons of used motor oil and more than 676,000 used oil filters through the Alamo, Enterprise and National brand operations.
* In 2010, the planting of the 5 millionth tree through the company’s 50 Million Tree Pledge, a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
* Recognition in 2009 by the Environmental Defense Fund for the company’s new rental transaction system at its more than 7,600 locations worldwide — a network of 45,000 energy-saving thin client terminals deployed through the company’s regional subsidiaries, which will enable the company to cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million pounds — a reduction of nearly 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per branch office per year.
* In its first year, customer participation in the company’s carbon offset program, along with a match from the company’s charitable foundation, generated $440,000 to fund several certified offset projects that work to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With partner TerraPass, these projects offset 42,000 metric tons of carbon, which, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, is equivalent to saving 4.8 million gallons of gasoline and 98,000 barrels of oil.
All told, over the past several years the Taylor family and their companies have contributed or pledged more than $120 million to environmental initiatives. For more information about the full environmental platform, visit www.keystogreen.com.
Founded in 1957, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an internationally recognized brand with more than 6,000 neighborhood and airport locations in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and Germany.