Whether it is going on a road trip or making a stop at the grocery store, cars have become our most preferred and convenient means of transportation. Fortunately, with car sharing and rental programs along with increased charging station locations, gaining access to plug-in electric cars has become increasingly accessible and affordable. Renting a plug-in is a great way for you to experience the quietness, comfort, and fun of “going electric”.
For example, car2go, a subsidiary of Daimler, is a pay–by-the-minute car share program that provides smart fortwo vehicles, including hundreds of battery electric versions. Car2go is convenient because rather than having to drive back to its original location or commit to a predetermined amount of time, customers can simply park their car at the destination and through swiping their card on the windshield reader, it becomes available for the next member to drive. Car2go is currently available in many major cities throughout North America and Europe.
Other options for temporary drive include renting from companies such as Hertz, the first car-rental company to deploy electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on three continents (North America, Asia, and Europe). The world’s largest general use airport car rental brand offers a wide variety of electric cars for their customers. Hertz offers the Nissan LEAF, Smart fortwo electric, and several other green friendly cars. They even offer highly sought after luxury cars like the Tesla Roadster for their Hertz Entertainment Services.
And through renting or sharing—who knows—you may even discover that you enjoy driving a specific model and may choose to purchase one down the road. Check out our Virtual Showroom and learn more about different plug-in cars before you share, rent or buy.
Share your experience renting or sharing a plug-in electric car on our GoElectricDrive Facebook page
Published in Vehicles
We’ve all heard the saying, “it takes a village”. Well with General Motors' (GM) and OnStar’s new project, it truly will take a whole “Volt village” to help mold future technology and innovation dealing with household energy and electric vehicles.
The Mueller development, an Austin, Texas neighborhood, will be used as a test bed for how vehicles and their drivers interact with a smart power grid. The neighborhood was designed to test green technologies and coincidentally, holds the highest concentration of electric vehicles in the United States. GM has already sold more than half of the 100 Chevrolet Volts for the 1,000 residents of the neighborhood.
GM and its OnStar subsidiary recently announced a collaboration with an organization called Pecan Street where they will manage several other sustainability initiatives with the help of several other organizations such as Austin Energy. The smart grid data from electric vehicles provided by OnStar and the research carried out by Pecan Street is an effort to speed up the innovation cycle around the smart grid and consumer electronic technology.
Researchers can use OnStar to control charging of all the Volts in the Mueller neighborhood, allowing a utility to balance demand on the grid and activate charging when there is readily available renewable energy from wind farms or solar arrays. And since more than a third of the homes in Mueller also have rooftop solar collectors, it will allow researchers to study how solar and electric vehicle charging interact, potentially leading to a more cost-effective way to generate energy.
The five-year project’s main goal is to study the direct impact the Volt has on the grid so that drivers can receive the lowest-possible charging rates, further developing the capabilities of the Volt and other plug-ins. What do you think they will find in the study? Share your opinions on our Facebook page!
Visit our Virtual Showroom to learn more about the Chevrolet Volt.
Published in Vehicles
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