A mother and her daughter recently experienced a distressing situation when they rented a Tesla from Hertz. Unfamiliar with electric vehicles, they found themselves trapped inside the car when it ran out of battery power. This incident highlights the challenges faced by individuals new to driving electric vehicles.
Rental car companies like Hertz have adopted electric vehicles due to their cost-saving advantages. With lower maintenance costs and cheaper electricity compared to gasoline, electric vehicles provide significant benefits for businesses. However, this can pose difficulties for customers without prior experience with electric cars.
Although Hertz claims that their electric vehicles are popular among customers, the reality is quite different. Rental electric vehicles are often available in parking lots because many people prefer to avoid them. In some cases, these cars are heavily discounted, and customers are persuaded to accept them because there are no other options available. This situation can create issues for all parties involved, including the rental company, customers, and the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
In the case of Becky Liebau and her daughter, they were left with a Tesla as the only option when they arrived at a Hertz office. Despite Liebau never having driven an electric vehicle before, they took the car and encountered problems from the beginning. The rented Tesla had less than half of the battery charge, and they ran out of battery power before finding a Supercharger station. Additionally, Hertz did not provide a plug adapter, making other charging stations inaccessible.
To make matters worse, the 12-volt battery in the Tesla also failed, rendering the car inoperable. Liebau and her daughter were unable to open the car doors due to the lack of a functioning battery. Unaware of the safety release mechanisms offered by Tesla, which are located near the window switches, they eventually contacted a tow truck driver who instructed them to exit the vehicle through the trunk using the opening mechanism.
Once their ordeal was over, Liebau encountered further challenges with Hertz. The company charged her for charging the car, even though they were unable to do so. When she refused to pay, Hertz blacklisted her, preventing her from renting with them in the future.
This incident underscores the importance of providing adequate support and education to customers renting electric vehicles. Rental companies must ensure that customers are well-informed about the unique features and requirements of electric vehicles. This way, they can avoid negative experiences and foster a positive perception of electric cars among customers.
– CBS News, “Tesla rental nightmare: Woman gets stuck in Hertz Tesla after it runs out of battery”