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Will rental car companies ding you for returning half-charged electric vehicles? Enterprise won't.

Darren Murph
01.15.11
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Here's a shocker in more ways than one. Earlier this month, Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced that it would soon be offering Chevrolet's Volt at the company's Mark Christopher Auto Center in Ontario, California, and we reasonably assumed that renters best watch out for any unforeseen charges that may arise from returning it with a dead (or near-dead) stash of batteries. For anyone who has rented a gasoline-powered automobile in the past score, you'll know that returning a whip with a fuel tank that's just 90 percent full won't quite cut it, and you'll be stuck ponying up for your oversight. Thankfully -- at least at Enterprise -- a similar surcharge setup will not be applied to electric vehicles. Lisa Martini, a spokesperson for Enterprise, got in touch with us to clarify the outfit's plans, and they're shockingly consumer-friendly:
"[Enterprise] does not plan to charge customers for bringing back EVs without a full charge. Enterprise is installing charging stations at locations that will offer EVs, and plans to charge the vehicles once they're returned."
That pretty much sums it up for at least one major rental company, and we can only hope that everyone else publishes similar intentions before their accountants publish something to the contrary. Power to the people, eh?

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