Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling? When it comes to rental cars to zip around in, there are plenty of eco-conscious options that are much gentler on the planet.
Make an environmentally-friendly rental car part of your vacation by heading over to momondo.com/car-rental and seeing what’s available at your destination by looking for the “Eco-friendly” filter in the search results. The filter boxes will appear if there are any electric or hybrid car rental options available. Check the boxes off and then look for the label with the green leaf marking the options that are more sustainable. More and more car rental companies are adding trendy eco-friendly cars to their offerings — so give it a try and see what pops up.
Are hybrid and electric really better for the environment?
It can indeed get a bit confusing when you start looking at different parts of the cars’ lifecycles, like CO2 emissions produced during manufacturing.
But when you look at the entire lifecycle, including emissions saved by using electric power instead of fuel while driving, both hybrids and EVs (electric vehicles) are kilometers ahead of the others — even more so if that car is using electricity produced from alternative energy and not fossil fuels. Throughout their lifecycle, conventional cars actually produce more than twice as many CO2 emissions as EVs.
Save money by charging instead of fueling
Though hybrids do use gasoline, they also have a battery that generates much of the power they consume. EVs take it even further by running entirely on electricity. So when looking at the higher price of renting an eco-friendly car, remember that you’ll also be saving by refueling less often for your hybrid or paying only a very low charging fee for your EV.
If you’ve decided to go full on EV, keep reading for some tips to help you get the most out of your driving trips (most of them apply for hybrids too).
Know your charging stations
It’s a good idea to plan out the trips you want to take while you’re on your holiday and find out where the charging stations are along those routes. Many hotels also have charging stations available on premises — so see if yours does too, or at least where the closest one to your hotel is. And make sure you’ve got a payment type that will be accepted by the charging stations you’re headed for, like this one that’s accepted at stations all through Europe.
Stay calm and drive on
For optimal battery efficiency, avoid the road rage and instead focus on your driving style. Coast without accelerating when you can and give yourself time to accelerate gently after stopping. Driving without sudden and strong accelerations can increase efficiency by 30%.
EV batteries don’t do well in constant start/stop/crawl mode — and most drivers don’t either. So check ahead for any days at your destination when you suspect traffic will be heavy, like the start of a public holiday. Then steer clear of them at all costs.
Enjoy the perks!
In some places you get serious VIP treatment for driving an EV. Take Norway for example. There you can take advantage of free parking and the use of bus lanes during rush hour traffic (plus what feels like a charging station on every corner).
Drive cleaner in California and Europe
Psssst: If you’ve already got a trip to Los Angeles, San Francisco, London or Milan in mind, you might find it handy to know that these destinations offer several hybrid or electric car rental options for the eco-conscious traveler.
And remember, if you’ll be flying into LA for example but also want to check out Las Vegas on your trip, it’s more sustainable to drive that distance than fly — especially if there are multiple people traveling in that car.
Give eco-friendly rental cars a spin
Curious about bringing a hybrid or EV into your life on a full-time basis? Use the rental car as a convenient opportunity to try one out without the full commitment of buying. And enjoy the thrill of making an environmental statement while cruising along on your vacation!