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Electric Vehicles
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Budget rents electric vehicles at LAX

December 31, 1998
Web posted at: 4:22 p.m. EST (2122 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- There's something new and exciting at the Budget Rent a Car outpost at Los Angeles International Airport. You could call it electrifying.

The car rental agency is offering electric vehicles to its renters at LAX.

But the vehicles can travel only about 40 to 100 miles before they need recharging, so who would want to rent one?

Susan Welty, a spokeswomen for Budget, has the answer to that: "The one-day business traveler who flies into LAX, has a couple of meetings in the city, and is flying right back out the same night. That's a perfect example of someone who would want to do this."

Another example of someone who would want to rent an electric set of wheels is David Johnson, a Los Angeles resident who just wanted to check them out.

"I've tried the Gillette Mach 3, Pepsi One and now the EV from General Motors," he said.

Budget is hoping to generate public interest in electric vehicles by making them available to renters.

But, before you rent, there are some things you should know. For instance, the EV doesn't have an ignition. You must spend about 20 minutes getting special instruction on this and other features before the car rental company will allow you to drive one off its lot.

Still, a Budget spokesman said driving an electric car is much like driving a traditional automobile. "It's just as safe. It's just as reliable and just as fast as a gasoline-powered vehicle and a lot more efficient."

Budget has plans to expand the availability of electric vehicles to other California cities by next spring, but for now they are only available at LAX, for $39.95 a day.

Based on a report from CNN Correspondent Greg LaMotte

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