Photos by Joanne M. Tucker
TORRANCE, Calif. — At an Enterprise Rent-A-Car event today, the car rental company announced that it is adding the Torrance, Calif. rental office at 20625 Hawthorne Blvd. to its list of locations offering electric vehicle (EV) rentals with the addition of Nissan Leafs and an on-site charging station.
Enterprise is also piloting an “EV Owners Discount Program” for customers at the Torrance branch, which provides EV owners with a 15% discount off the regular retail rate when they need to rent a longer-range vehicle. The EV owners can charge up their own EVs at Enterprise during the rental period.
Also at the event were the Torrance branch Local Use Vehicles (LUVs), which are being used in a study through Enterprise and the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG), which includes 16 cities and the County of Los Angeles. These electric vehicles have a range of 30 miles and can drive up to 25 mph.
In 2010, Enterprise helped the SBCCOG lease and prepare six of these LUVs to launch the project, which is looking at where users take the vehicles, for how long and other data that will be useful in creating an EV infrastructure in the area, according to Jacki Bacharach, executive director of SBCCOG.
A crowd of about 25 gathered for the launch of the "EV Owners Discount Program."
“We’re a catalyst to electric vehicle infrastructure development, which includes offering extended test drives of EVs via rentals to curious customers,” said Greg Tabak, director of EV programs for Southern California, Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “Helping EV technology establish itself in the marketplace also means finding unique ways to make it easier for EV owners to rent for the times when they need a longer-range vehicle, such as for a road trip or a move across town.”
(From left to right) Ellen Perkins, councilmember, Palos Verdes Estates, and Greg Tabak, director of EV programs for Southern California, Enterprise Holdings.
The SBCCOG and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) have made a commitment to making the South Bay EV ready. AQMD provided funding for the LUV demonstration program in cooperation with SBCCOG.
Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto
“Enterprise has been a good private collaborator, bringing their expertise in vehicle fleet purchase and management to our project,” said Ellen Perkins, SBCCOG chair and Palos Verdes Estates councilwoman. “Combined with our efforts to further EV infrastructure development, this is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together toward a common goal to improve our environment. It’s these kinds of collaborations that will help drive the type of change we need.”
The Torrance rental office is the 11th Enterprise location in Southern California to offer EV rentals, joining branches in Encino, Newport Beach, Ontario, Palm Springs, Pasadena, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks. Enterprise operates the largest network of EV rentals in California, according to the company press release. There is no fee for vehicles returned without a full charge.
For more information about the LUVs in Torrance, go to www.southbaycities.org.