78% of Americans Would Rent an EV First to Try It Out
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78% of Americans Would Rent an EV First to Try It Out

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  • Of 2,000 surveyed adults, 78% are willing to rent an EV to try out the technology before fully committing to buying.
  • More than a quarter of respondents have already rented an EV, and 64% of them had such a good experience that they’re willing to buy.
  • The survey also highlighted that there’s still some work to be done to dispel myths and misguided concerns about EVs.

Verra Mobility Corporation, a provider of smart mobility technology solutions, recently released a report titled “State of Electric Vehicles: 2023 Report on Smart Mobility.” In it, they shared that they had surveyed 2,000 Americans aged 25 and older about consumer perceptions of EVs. One surprising finding was that 78% of those surveyed would be willing to rent an EV as a way to test drive the technology before buying.

Looking at the EV Rental Market

Verra Mobility’s findings do align with research from Modor Intelligence, which predicts that the EV rental car market will reach a staggering $20.42 billion by 2027.

According to Verra Mobility, 27% of respondents had previously rented an EV, with 64% of those expressing a willingness to buy an EV based on their positive rental experience. 

Steve Lalla, the executive vice president of commercial services at Verra Mobility, believes that choosing to rent an EV is an excellent way to help drivers become more comfortable with this new technology. “Renting an EV is a helpful way to get drivers more comfortable and alleviate concerns,” he said. “For many people, driving an EV isn’t intuitive. There’s anxiety around the unknown, like maintenance, locating charging stations and how to pay to recharge.”

The Growing Availability and Range of Electric Car Rentals in the USA

This aligns with the growing trend of renting EVs for trial purposes. While the availability of electric car rentals in the USA has been limited, there are rental agents who have recognized the demand for EV rentals and are starting to offer them. Hertz, Enterprise, Sixt, Avis, and Alamo are among the rental agents currently providing EV rentals in the US, including plug-in hybrids. Other various programs and services, including Turo, Blink Mobility, EV Rides, Evie Carshare, and Steer EV, contribute to the growing availability and accessibility of electric vehicles. By providing options for renting, sharing, or subscribing to electric cars, these services play a crucial role in promoting the adoption of EVs. They allow individuals to experience the benefits of electric transportation, such as lower emissions and advanced technologies, while also addressing concerns related to charging infrastructure and range anxiety. This indicates that the supply of electric rental cars is gradually increasing in response to the rising demand.

The availability of various EV models for rental in the USA is expanding as well. Rental agents such as Tesla, Nissan, Polestar, Renault, Hyundai, BMW, Kia, Toyota, and Ford offer a range of electric and hybrid models for rent. These include popular models like the Tesla Model 3 and Model S, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq, and Toyota Prius.

The limited availability of electric car rentals in the USA can be attributed to several factors. The general car market in the US has been slower to adopt EVs compared to Europe and China, where EV sales continue to surge. Factors such as large travel distances and relatively cheaper fuel prices have contributed to hesitancy towards EV adoption. However, as the demand for electric car rentals grows, the supply is expected to increase accordingly.

Other Findings From the Verra Mobility Survey

The survey also explored larger perceptions around EVs and revealed some interesting insights. While 63% of respondents expected higher maintenance costs with EVs compared to gas vehicles, EVs aren’t necessarily more expensive to maintain than gas-powered cars. However, respondents did believe that incidents requiring roadside assistance would be more common with EVs. 

On a positive note, 77% of respondents considered EVs to be as safe or even safer than gas-powered automobiles.

Despite the growing popularity of EVs, concerns about charging station availability and cost remain high, as Verra Mobility discovered during employee focus groups. The survey found that 79% of U.S. drivers polled were concerned about range anxiety and considered charging station availability as the main obstacle to owning or driving an EV. Cost was the second most significant concern, with 29% of respondents expressing worries about affordability. Interestingly, if cost wasn’t a factor, 40% of those surveyed said they would choose to rent an EV over a gas vehicle.

Verra Mobility’s survey provides valuable insights into the evolving perceptions and challenges surrounding EVs. As more consumers become curious about testing out EVs, the industry has an opportunity to help them better understand and become comfortable with the unique aspects of driving electric. By addressing concerns and providing necessary information, the EV market can continue to grow and attract more environmentally conscious drivers.

For those interested in further details, the full report is available for download at Verra Mobility’s website.


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