Electric cars are here, and the rental sector must plug in or ...

Lifestyle

Electric cars are here, and the rental sector must plug in or lose out

The global trend of vehicle use over ownership will hit SA big time, and we can all cash in, says an expert

David Furlonger

The car-rental industry will change beyond recognition in the next few years as new automotive technologies and evolving mobility trends revolutionise the transport landscape, says Lance Smith, sales head for the Avis Budget group in Southern Africa.

Electric cars will become the norm and fleets will include self-driving vehicles. Rentals could be charged hourly instead of daily. Car owners whose vehicles sit unused for extended periods could even loan them to rental fleets and share the revenue.

Like all transport providers, rental companies are entering an era of deep uncertainty, says Smith. Historically, when rental companies install fuel depots at fleet centres, they costs over 30 years. How do they manage that when they know the number of petrol-driven vehicles in the fleet will drastically diminish – disappear, even – long before that time is up?..

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