Considering going electric? Tips for travelers looking to rent an EV

There are more than 2.7 million electric vehicles in operation in the U.S.
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 10:55 AM AKDT
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(InvestigateTV) — A recent Cox Automotive survey found that while 50% of shoppers consider purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), many end up buying a car with a traditional gasoline engine.

Some of the top reasons for consumer hesitancy are concerns about costs and the availability of charging stations, as outlined in a U.S. News & World Report article.

To combat that hesitancy, some consumers are using travel to test out an EV.

AAA spokesperson Morgan Dean said testing out an EV as a rental car could be a good opportunity to see how it feels to drive one and to learn about the technology inside the vehicle.

“We’ve always kicked the tires or done test drives when we’ve checked out a new vehicle. But with EVs, it’s a little bit different. It’s not just a new vehicle. It’s a new way of thinking about your vehicle. It’s not stopping to get gas. It’s stopping to charge the vehicle. And the components inside the vehicle are all different as well,” Dean explained. “There’s no internal combustion engine. It’s an electric vehicle engine. So, there’s a lot of things that are really, really different for it, and that can be a barrier for some folks.”

Renting an EV might not be for everyone, Dean noted, especially those who want a low-stress trip.

“If you’re flying to a destination and planning on doing a lot of driving and could be driving through areas that don’t have a lot of charging stations, that could be a problem and that could cause extra stress on a vacation,” Dean said.

An alternative, he suggested, would be to rent an EV locally for the weekend. This way test drivers will be familiar with the area and charging locations.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are more than 160,000 charging ports at just over 55,000 charging stations across the country.