3 Alternatives To Buying An Electric Vehicle

Note: This is the third in a weekly series of Care2 posts about alternative fuels and vehicles in honor of Earth Day. Be sure to check out first two posts: Top 5 All-Electric Vehicles of 2011 and Are Electric Cars Really Better For The Environment?

For the past two weeks, we’ve been talking about the benefits, myths, and facts of electric cars. Thanks to rising oil and gas prices, and increasing environmental concern, experts predict that in the next ten years, millions of these advanced technology vehicles will appear on the road ways.

But as much as we love electric cars there’s one small but significant problem that keeps most people from adopting them: price. Let’s face it, the economy isn’t great and many people are still struggling to make ends meet. For millions of people around the world, investing in a piece of transportation technology that’s not yet supported by a robust infrastructure is out of the question.

But thanks to some forward-thinking people and businesses, your tight budget doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying all the money and carbon-saving goodness of an electric vehicle.

On the following pages are not one but THREE different ways that you can make an electric vehicle part of your live without spending your kids’ college fund.

>>Up Next: Forget The Car!

Over the past few years, lots of different industries have been experiencing with electric motors versus combustion engines (or no engine at all!) If you’ve got a fairly short commute (<10 miles) and don’t mind a little wind in your hair, I highly recommend looking into an electric bike or scooter.

We recently purchased a used iZip Sereno electric moped (above) for less than $500. It’s perfect for commuting and completing around town errands, yet still provides the convenience of riding in the bike lane and never having to find a parking spot! Only drawback so far, you have to be really careful not to get it wet.

There are lots of different makes and models of two-wheeled electric vehicles, including scooters, mountain bikes, beach cruisers, and folding bikes. If you want to learn more about the best electric bikes, check out this list.

>>Up Next: Rent It!

Electric Car Rentals

If you travel and need to rent a car, you might be surprised to know that several rental car companies began offering electric fleet vehicles in 2011.

Late last year, Hertz announced that would add hundreds of EVs to its fleet over the coming months, making electric vehicles available at locations in Manhattan, Washington DC and San Francisco. To book an available EV, just sign up for Connect by Hertz membership and make a reservation via connectbyhertz.com.

Not to be outdone, Enterprise is adding 500 Nissan LEAFs to its fleet this month and has plans to add up to 100 CODA Sedan EVs in 2011. Enterprise has already started rolling out EV rentals in Phoenix, Tucson, Knoxville, Nashville, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car also offers customers the opportunity to benefit the environment by offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions generated by an average fleet car for just $1.25 per rental.

>>Up Next: Share It!

Car2Go Electric Car

Renting a car for the day can be expensive, especially if you usually bike or walk, but need to get to an appointment that’s too far away. Instead of incurring the higher cost of a daily rental, check out one of the many car-sharing services that are popping up all over the world!

Unlike renting, car-sharing services allow you to rent the vehicle by the hour, and offers convenient pick-up and drop-off all throughout a city or metro area. Many of these services, like Car2Go, GreenCar Hawaii, ZipCar, offer hybrid and fully electric fleet options.