Through a partnership between EV Rental Cars, Budget Rent a Car, the Southern California Gas Company, Pickens Fuel Corp. and American HondaMotor Co. Inc., announced the first compressed natural gas vehicle (NGV)rental fleet on April 7, 1999.
The fleet is currently made up of five Honda Civic GX sedans at the Budget Rent a Car location in Los Angeles. However, up to 15 additional compressed natural gas vehicles will be available for rental at other Budget locations throughout California by the end of 1999. Renters of the compressed natural gas vehicles will be able to refuel at any one of the current 125 NGV fueling stations in Southern California.There are a total of 230 stations throughout the state. Speaking at the event were Jeff Pink, founder and president of EV Rental Cars, David Rodgers, director of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Technology Utilization, and Andrew Littlefair, president of Pickens Fuel.
Also on hand were Stephen Ellis, NGV sales and marketing manager for American Honda Motor Co. Inc. who spoke about the projectÉs benefits to the environment as did Mitchell Pratt, general manager of the NGV program for the Southern California Gas Co., and L.A. City Councilwoman, Ruth Galanter.
Ellis says, "With 98% less emissions [than a vehicle using regular fuel], the GX is the cleanest combustion vehicle in the world." Galanter congratulated EV Rental Cars by saying, "This is a great way to clean up the environment and make money doing it." Pratt commended everyone affiliated with the clean gas project for keeping it moving forward.
According to Terry O'Day, manager of operations and planning for EV Rental Cars, "the daily rental rate for the new compressed natural gas vehicles won't be any less expensive than that of a normal car, however, the price for fuel is cheaper." O'Day also says that by the end of 1999, EV Rental Cars will be adding hybrid cars to its fleet of rental vehicles.