Andrew C. Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Holdings, which is implementing the nation's largest electric vehicle (EV) rental rollout, will be one of the leading voices from the business sector at today's National Summit on Energy Security in Washington, D.C. "When it comes to bringing alternative-powered vehicles to the mass market, the car rental industry is a critical link in the transportation value chain," said Taylor, whose family owns the flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand as well as Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental.
"Every year, the car rental industry puts 1.6 million vehicles on the road in this country," stated Taylor, recently named by Automotive News magazine as one of the "Electrifying 100" key players driving vehicle electrification. "And our industry's future depends on keeping passenger vehicles -- and the fuels required to power them -- economically viable and acceptable to society."
Enterprise -- the first car rental company in the U.S. to offer the extended-range electric Chevy Volt -- already has introduced EVs in Southern California, Texas, Tennessee, Hawaii and New York. Last month, the company also launched a 12-month EV pilot, involving eight Peugeot iOn cars and 11 charging stations, in London. Furthermore, Taylor is announcing the expansion of his company's EV program in Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Even more electric vehicles -- including Chevy Volts, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, Peugeot iOns and 500 Nissan LEAFs -- will be added in several new markets through Enterprise's neighborhood locations, local business rental programs and WeCar car-sharing.
However, Taylor stresses that electric vehicles can only be rolled out in a pragmatic and market-driven solution supported by the necessary infrastructure and appropriate public policies. "Given the economic and national security benefits of reducing the nation's dependence on oil, there is a need to put as many EVs into the marketplace as possible while still addressing the driving requirements of the American public," he explains. "This transition is -- and should remain -- an evolutionary process."
Enterprise's focus on sustainable vehicle technology led it to join the Electrification Coalition in 2010 and the U.S. Department of Energy's "Clean Cities" National Clean Fleets Partnership this year. Enterprise Holdings also is investing heavily in alternative vehicle and fuel technology, from using biodiesel in airport shuttle buses to dedicating $25 million to establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at one of the nation's leading research institutes, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
The National Summit on Energy Security -- organized by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), the Electrification Coalition, Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) and the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security -- is bringing together CEOs, military leaders and policymakers to address the intensifying threats posed by our nation's dependence on petroleum. In addition, Chuck Todd, chief White House correspondent for NBC News and co-host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, will be moderating a CEO Forum Luncheon with Taylor and Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation and co-chair of the ESLC.
"This event represents a strategic opportunity to broaden the discussion about energy security and its impact on the American economy," said Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of the Electrification Coalition, which is helping to host the National Summit on Energy Security. "Because Enterprise owns more vehicles than anyone else -- and is adopting alternative technologies and fuels -- the company's point of view is critical for establishing a national energy policy."