Electric Vehicle Rental Program Revs Up in Orlando

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Nissan Leaf

Tourists in Orlando may add electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf to their list of must-rides while in town. Photo: Nissan

Orlando is known for its rides, and now, it’s getting 15 more. But these aren’t the roller coasters the city is famous for — they’re electric cars.

The Electrification Coalition (EC) chose Orlando — and its 56 million annual visitors — as a test market for electric rental cars. EC has teamed up with rental car agencies, hotels, travel agents and tourist attractions on the ambitious Drive Electric Orlando plan, which aims to make the electric vehicle car rental experience as easy as possible.

“Orlando is one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations, and also one of the largest rental car markets,” Sam Ori, an EC vice president, told MNN. “We quickly realized that if we could build out the infrastructure there by installing charging stations, consumers could have a high level of confidence in trying an EV. It’s also great that all of Orlando’s destinations are close together, maybe 12 to 18 miles apart, and well within the range of EVs.”

Purchased with a federal grant to the city, the 300 public charging stations Orlando currently has will be joined by many more by the time the project is completed. Nissan has also donated 30 480-volt fast chargers, which can charge a car like the Nissan Leaf in 30 minutes.

Enterprise Holdings has placed 15 of the Nissan Leafs at Orlando International Airport at a rental price of $30 a day, which is comparable to conventional cars. Chargers are available at just about any major hotel in the city and at popular attractions.

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