ORLANDO, FL — Standing in front of the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and flanked by a new fleet of electric vehicles (EVs), Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Drive Electric Orlando (DEO), Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Chevrolet, OUC and 14 of the city’s top community and business leaders to announce the expansion of Orlando’s EV car rental fleet. Mayor Dyer issued a proclamation at the event reinforcing Orlando’s status as America’s best place to rent an EV, supported by the addition of 14 new Chevrolet Volt plug-in cars to Enterprise’s local rental offering.
The announcement comes during National Drive Electric Week, an annual celebration taking place in cities and communities across the country to raise awareness and support for electric vehicles. Orlando’s business and community leaders, including Visit Orlando, Walt Disney Word, Universal Orlando Resort, the Orange County Convention Center, Westgate Resorts, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Orlando, Inc. and the Aloft Hotel, not only participated in the day’s event, but also lined up to rent the new electric vehicles for day-long “extended test drives” as a sign of their support for the program.
“Here in Orlando, we pride ourselves on being a sustainable, cutting edge community and a place where leadership and partnership come together to do amazing things and tackle big challenges,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re proud to show national leadership when it comes to sustainability, and that includes advancing the adoption of electric cars both here in our backyard and across America.”
“We know that the car rental experience is often an extended test drive, so we are committed to offering our customers exposure to the latest vehicle technologies,” said Nathan Prior, Director of Business Rental Sales for Enterprise in Orlando. “Growing our fleet of electric vehicles in Orlando marks the next level of our support for Drive Electric Orlando’s mission to promote the adoption of EVs.”
“Chevrolet is looking forward to having the Volt participate in Drive Electric Orlando,” said Britta Gross, GM’s Director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy. “This hands-on approach of putting consumers in the driver’s seat of an electric car is a great way for many to experience the joy—and smart cost savings—of driving electric!”
Partnering with the biggest names in travel and tourism—from vehicle rental and automotive companies to theme parks, hotels, and more—Drive Electric Orlando gives the city’s visitors the opportunity to experience the performance and value of driving electric vehicles. In March 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that DEO, in partnership with the Florida Office of Energy, would a receive $400,000 grant to continue its work in the Orlando area to expand the impact of the program.
The 14 new Chevy Volts are now available for rent in Enterprise’s Orlando fleet, and the company expects to add more in the future. The Volt runs on both electricity and gasoline, traveling about 40 miles on battery power alone before seamlessly switching to gas power for longer trips. With more than 300 places to “plug in” across the region, including more than 140 OUC public EV charging stations, visitors can go to and from area hotels and attractions without using a drop of gasoline. For those more distant trips, the Volt has a total combined range of 380 miles.
Drive Electric Orlando works with the City of Orlando, Orange County, travel companies, the major theme parks and over 35 hotels to provide charging infrastructure for EV renters, as well as benefits like free charging, parking, and other perks for business travelers and vacationers. The initiative is part of a broader effort to reduce oil demand in transportation and increase American economic and national security by promoting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. As part of the partnership, the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition will help with outreach to its stakeholders, as well as collaborate with other Clean Cities Coalitions in U.S. markets that are key feeders for the Orlando tourism industry.
National Drive Electric Week is a project of Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association and runs September 12 through 20 with events across the country.