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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just really wanted to rent one for a one or two day excursion, for the heck of it, but unable to find one for rent. I do see a selection on Turo of a single BMW i3 with a range extender and a single Fusion Energi, so will probably try one of those.

On the conventional agency rental attempt - I arrived at the airport, went to the large rental area, and simply walked over to the counters - nothing available. Of the three majors I tried, Hertz indicated maybe I could get a Tesla for a lot of money per day, but that was the only PEV that seemed to be available. I still want to check SIXT. There was a big line at the airport, so I didn't bother with them, but will try to check online.

Side-note from a general car-enthusiasm point of view - there's a parking lot in a shopping center with Valet parking, in Miami Beach (I'm not sure the name of the place, I go there with others) and there seems to be a rather striking array of extraordinarily valuable cars parked there, at least sometimes - last night I saw a row of five spots, one of them a Ferrari and four of them Rolls or Bentleys. I do think there are some plug-ins around according to a cab-driver I spoke to (the occasional BMW for example), though I haven't seen one at that lot yet (though I haven't checked the Porsches and others that closely).
 

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I live up the road in southern Palm beach county and Tesla's are very common around me, it's volts that are rare. In few more years Tesla's may out number MB.
 

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The demand just isn't there. They would have to charge extra and treat it like a specialty car as if they mad enough it a regular part of their fleets, they'd still have people returning them for fear of being stranded after 50 miles or the opposite, people would just drive on Dino juice only and never attempt to plug them in. Why should the rental company spend $35K on a car when an $18k Cruze makes better margins?
 

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You'd be surprised how many dealerships would allow an overnight test drive you just have to convince them you are interested in the car...

Overall I'm baffled to why there isn't at least a DCFC Volt option; pretty much needed in an fleet environment; I think we could see it as early as MY18 since now GM is actively using Volts for Lyft and Maven...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The demand just isn't there. They would have to charge extra and treat it like a specialty car as if they mad enough it a regular part of their fleets, they'd still have people returning them for fear of being stranded after 50 miles or the opposite, people would just drive on Dino juice only and never attempt to plug them in. Why should the rental company spend $35K on a car when an $18k Cruze makes better margins?
Hi llninja - For what it's worth, my view is different.

I'm not sure that I (or anyone else) can really say if the demand is there or not. Has the Volt ever been offered widely and readily for rent? What were the results? Furthermore, since time has passed (more than six years since the vehicle was introduced) and demand has slowly increased for the underlying vehicle, isn't it possible that there might be somewhat increased demand for renting it?

Myriad reasons have been offered in these forums over the years as to why some folks think the Volt is not more widely for rent. Some of the folks have industry experience but some don't. In my view, some of these points may have some validity and some may just be pot-shots that are way off, but notwithstanding all of them, they don't really contradict the part of my point that I as a consumer am simply voicing that I'd like to rent one. .

My own attempts to voice my consumer preference for having an option of renting a PHEV or EREV have sometimes in this group been misinterpreted as some sort of broad un-businesslike kind of left-of-center notion that I think I should have that option because I want it, regardless of whether it would be profitable. However, this is not the case. I think there are counter-arguments to the notion that it would not be worth the while of both GM and the rental agencies to do a better job of renting PHEVs and EREVs. I do think some others would like to rent such cars, though it is hard (in my view) to gauge exactly how many, and in which markets it could be profitable. I think the claimed lack of demand is an assumption that can and should be questioned, not (as far as anyone has been able to show me) a proven fact.

GM might have been able to increase demand for its award winning vehicle by making it available for hassle-free rental drives. While it is true that a person can negotiate with a dealer for a bit of an extended test, probably in most cases a person would need to convince the dealer that they are a potential serious candidate for lease or purchase. In any event, I think it is a needless hassle. Personally I (and I suspect others) love using rental drives as a great way to try a vehicle without an overly brief limitation on the drive or the dealer having a thing to do with it, or gain any leverage at all over us, and without having a strange with an agenda in the car with us .

As to the price, the MSRP of a Volt is extremely cheap compared to some of the vehicles offered for rent at some locations. Hertz seem to be offering Teslas for rent at Miami airport for north of $200 per day, along with other "dream" vehicles. The Volt is much less expensive and probably doesn't have the cache of a "dream" car, but I think a large-fleet major agency at an airport might be able to rent one out somewhat often. Also, I think the private conventional rental agencies anyway only need pay about $30k for such vehicles, net of the federal tax credit.

As to whether or not a person drives on battery or gasoline, meh... is an extra 1-3 hours of non-rental per day while recharging that big of a deal for a vehicle that is probably going to be more of a specialty rental from a large fleet such as at a major agency at a major airport? [I agree with the point that I'd like to see a DCFC option on an EREV battery the size of the Volt's, though I don't know what wear-and-tear consequences there might be.]

One thing that gets me is that some agencies are fine to rent out short-range BEVs, which to me are (in a way) less desirable when I am traveling in unfamiliar territory (and am not sure of my charging at night for example). A PHEV or EREV option would seem to be just what the doctor ordered for a situation where anxiety about BEV range is perfectly warranted.

As I recall, another argument offered was that rental can signify that a model is not one that a manufacturer really thinks of highly. This would seem to be somewhat contradicted by the ability to rent premium highly desirable (and much higher MSRP) vehicles.

Anyway, I realize that there are those who will offer all sorts of counter-arguments. I did want to set the record straight, in anticipation of going around in some of the same old circles, that I am not oblivious of, or disrespectful of, basic principles of profit and business. I do continue to keep my own counsel and in this case continue to believe that a profitable opportunity is quite possibly being missed here by GM and by some of the rental agency locations. I feel kind of fatalistic about it though... hopefully it will not be too many more years before I am able to rent some version of EREV/PHEV hassle-free from a conventional agency on a trip, but I won't hold my breath. To this day (more than six years since the Volt was introduced to the US markets), I haven't been able to do it, but at least I'll be able to do it through a peer-to-peer carsharing service on this trip. Too bad it won't be a Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Maybe pictures are worth some words here. These are the results when I look at SIXT's website for renting from Miami airport. Apparently they do claim to rent BMW i3 and i8 type vehicles, but "sold out" at this time from that location, and not available at other alternative locations. On the phone now to get some clarification.

000168.jpg 000169.jpg 000167.jpg
 

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The dream is that someday all cars will be electric, every parking space has a charge cord, and when an ICE drives by, everyone looks at it with scorn just as I glare at coal rollers today.
 
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