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Environmentally Friendly Rental Cars

With gas costing more than $2 a gallon now, I have felt an almost Pavlovian desire, no doubt originating from my 1970’s childhood, to explore all things energy efficient. If you are experiencing the same thing and travel actively for business, here is one way to kill two birds with one stone: Rent an environmentally friendly vehicle.

EV Rental Cars is the first and only car rental company in the United States to solely rent environmentally friendly vehicles. EV Rental is based at nine Budget Rent a Car locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Virginia. EV Rental Cars has a partnership with Budget in which Budget provides counter facilities and agents for customer rental services. Rental services, procedures, and charges are, in most cases, the same as Budget’s. In addition, EV Rental Car customers may participate in Budget express service and loyalty programs.

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Airport locations include Burbank, Los Angeles, Ontario, and San Diego, California; Palm Springs, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Dulles and National airports in Virginia. You will also find EV vehicles at the Budget location in the Union Station train station in Washington, DC. Most cars rent for $35-$45 per day.

EV rents two types of environmental vehicles: hybrid gas/electric and natural gas.

Hybrid gas/electric: Gas mileage for hybrid vehicles is up to 700 miles per tank of gasoline, or about 55-60 miles per gallon. Hybrids do not require charging from an outside source because the battery pack recharges automatically. EV’s midsize hybrid vehicle is a Honda Civic, and its full-size vehicle is a Toyota Prius. EV’s two-occupant vehicle is the Honda Insight. The company will be introducing the 2005 Ford Escape, which is a mini-SUV this fall.

Natural gas: Gas mileage for natural gas is equivalent to 30 miles per gallon; however, natural gas is much cheaper than gasoline. There are more than 200 natural gas refueling stations in Arizona, California, and Nevada. EV’s midsize (four-passenger) natural gas vehicle is a Honda Civic GX.

There is an additional benefits to renting a natural gas vehicle. Not only can you return the vehicle empty at no extra charge, but these vehicles are eligible to travel in the car pool lanes with only one person. This is a big plus in southern California.