At the moment, buying an electric car will cost you more money than buying a conventional one. There are a few reasons for this, including high demand and limited supply, supply chain issues thanks to COVID-19, and the still currently high (though expected to fall over time) cost of the battery. So, before you put your hard-earned cash down on something you’re read about but never tried, why not try before you buy?
Renting an electric car for a weekend road trip is the perfect way to find out if an electric vehicle is for you. You’ll get the chance to enjoy the smoothness of the ride, familiarise yourself with the smartphone apps, learn how streetside charging stations work (enjoy paying a fraction of the price to fill the vehicle), and you’ll get to plug your car into the kitchen socket you normally use for your toaster. It really is like something out of the Jetsons!
You’ll also be able to navigate the various pitfalls (which are getting shallower as time rolls on) to find out if, for you, they really are a major hindrance, a mild headache, or no big deal whatsoever. We’d wager you’ll find, after a couple of days zooming around, that you’re firmly in the “no big deal” category. But who knows, you won’t know till you try one out.
While a few car rental companies are renting hybrid vehicles, if you’re after the real deal, meaning a pure electric car, then you currently have three choices — Sixt, East Coast Car Rentals and Hertz.
These electric vehicles are what you can rent at the moment in Australia, but expect the range of vehicles on offer and the number of rental companies offering them to increase considerably in the future.
Of the three, Sixt has the more comprehensive range, offering the Hyundai Ioniq EV, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona EV and the MG ZS, while East Coast Rental offers the Tesla 3, and Hertz has the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3.
When you are looking to rent an electric car in Australia, please bear in mind that electric vehicles may not be available at all rental locations, with airport pickups at state capital cities being the best bet until the supply of vehicles improves. This is expected to happen in the near future.
No. Renting and picking up an electric car is no different to renting a conventional car. You will be expected to satisfy the requirements (having a valid driving licence for example) as you do when picking up a conventional car. You can see a step-by-step guide to the pick up process here.
Please note that if you have never driven an electric car before, when you do pick your vehicle up, mention that you are new to electric vehicles. Knowing this, an attendant can give you an introduction to the fundamentals of electric cars and walk you through any aspects of your vehicle you may be unfamiliar with.
This varies between car rental companies. Sixt for example, does not require an electric car to be returned fully charged.
Please confirm the requirements for vehicle rental with the company supplying your vehicle.
The most noticeable differences most drivers new to electric cars comment on are near instantaneous acceleration, better handling, smoother driving and an overall far quieter vehicle.
Yes, these are all improvements on conventional cars.
Yes. It is important to remember that as long as the key is in, the car is “on,” meaning the charge will deplete.
Basically, don’t leave the key in if you’re off to watch the entire Lord of the Rings series.
This varies, depending on the model of the vehicle, how much charge is required, the type of charger used, and the operator. If you are using the Chargefox app you will be advised of the cost of recharging before you arrive. A rough estimate of the cost to recharge an electric vehicle is around AUD$15-30.
If you have rented a Sixt electric car, charging through the Chargefox network is free. Yes, free.