Those wanting to rent a Nissan Leaf when they travel in 2011 will be able to turn to Enterprise Rent-A-Car to do so, the car rental agency announced this week. The company plans to begin taking in 500 of these electric cars next year and making them available as rentals in select markets.

Enterprise said Leaf rentals will be available at its car rental offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. The company further plans to begin installing charging stations this November at what it calls hybrid branches, which are nearly 100 designated locations which offer hybrids and other environmentally-friendly rental options in 30 different markets.

Nissan Leaf
image via Nissan

Enterprise plans to do a slow roll out of Leaf rentals in order to make sure its staff at various locations are adequately trained to show customers how to use and charge the EVs. The rental agency claims to operate the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles, including nearly 7,000 gas/electric hybrid vehicles.

“As a company that owns and operates the world’s largest fleet of passenger vehicles, we have a vested interest and a history of working with manufacturers to integrate alternative-powered vehicles into our fleet,” said Lee Broughton, director of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car as well as the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands, in a statement. “With airport and neighborhood locations within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population, our Enterprise Rent-A-Car offices are uniquely positioned to test the market viability of new alternative fuel technologies like the electric vehicle with daily commuters nationwide.”

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